Steamboat Farmers Market opens for summer Saturday
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — It’s the market that marks the start of summer and the stands that stand for small, local businesses and hometown organizations. The Steamboat Farmers Market opens for its 14th season at 9 a.m. Saturday, June 15.
Many pieces of the market will be familiar to returning attendees: the thousands of smells offer previews to thousands of mouthwatering options, fresh produce gleaming every color of the rainbow, handmade goods representing a varied collection of artistic trades and representatives of local organizations smilingly awaiting conversation with passersby.
But the 2019 market will also offer a slew of new features, as well.
“To me, the coolest thing that’s new about this season is that we qualified for the Double Up Program,” Main Street Steamboat Springs Executive Director Lisa Popovich said. In the program, when someone who’s SNAP-eligible — or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program — spends $20 at the market, they get another $20 to spend on fresh, Colorado-grown produce per market visit. The program is paid for by a federal grant that the state of Colorado was awarded.
“About 18% of our population qualifies for food assistance, but only about a third of them actually participate,” Popovich said. “Personally, if I was eligible and knew I’d be matched dollar-for-dollar at the market, I’d be more likely to apply (for food assistance).”
A typical Saturday at the market will host about 125 booths — this Saturday’s opening market will have slightly fewer, to accommodate space for the Rocky Mountain Mustang Roundup. About a quarter of the 125 vendors are are new to the market.
“That’s a lot of newness,” Popovich said. “I think that will be super fun for people to see.”
New vendors that will be in attendance this Saturday will offer salt, wine, bagels, chips, hot sauce, kombucha, cotton candy, honey and more.
What: Steamboat Farmers Market
When: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays starting June 15 through Sept. 21
Where: Seventh and Yampa streets
“And more CBD than we know what to do with,” Popovich said.
The market also features an array of local music. Each week, different local musicians will play sets throughout the market, starting Saturday with Adia Clark Lay and Trevor G. Potter. Steamboat Music Academy will have a booth featuring students performing throughout the summer.
The market wouldn’t be able to function without its trusty crew of Main Street Steamboat ambassadors. Each of the team volunteers their Saturdays all summer to help set up and take down the market, welcome guests and be helpful as possible. They’ll also be taking surveys and gathering data on market attendees for the Steamboat Springs Chamber.
“My downtown ambassadors represent the best of our community,” Popovich said. She noted that there’s still a need for strong-legged people to drive pedicabs during the markets, a famously fun and sweaty job that requires training and pays in tips.
The market runs Saturdays through Sept. 21, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors and activities are based at Seventh and Yampa streets.
“I think it’s a place for us as a community to gather. We don’t have a town square; it’s our equivalent of a town square, or the summer equivalent of the ski mountain,” Popovich said. “You talk to your neighbors — it’s community, it’s accessibility, it’s small town at its best. To me, that’s the most special part of it.”
For a full list of vendors at the market, visit mainstreetsteamboat.com/farmers-market/farmers-market-vendors/farmers-market-vendors-2017.
Julia Ben-Asher is a contributing writer for Steamboat Pilot & Today.
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