Smithfield markets fresh foodPublished 11:13pm Monday, March 18, 2013
After celebrating a decade of serving the community last year, Smithfield Farmers’ Market will commence its 2013 season with music, food and more this Saturday.
From 9 a.m. to noon in the town’s historic downtown area, behind the Bank of Southside Virginia, the season opener will include a petting zoo and live music by Swell Luck, featuring award-winning singer-songwriter James Arellano.
“It’s a great community atmosphere,” said market manager Cheryl Ketcham. “A lot of people always come out. We have people with their dogs, people with their strollers, people running into their friends. It becomes a great time to catch up with people.”
The market includes 35 vendors selling baked goods, handcrafted items, meats, cheeses, produce, eggs, barbecue and Easter basket goodies.
One of the top sellers, Ketcham said, is a vendor called Yummaries. “People line up for their baked goods. They’re really super popular,” she added.
Market-goers will also have the opportunity to savor authentic wood-fired pizza, Ketcham said.
One of the market’s major strengths, according to Ketcham, is its wide variety of goods. “This year we are also having a baker coming in who does gluten-free products,” she said. “A lot of people are asking for it.”
A 10th-anniversary celebration last year featured the Smithfield High School Band, Ketcham said, adding, “It turned out to be a great event. A lot of the community came out to support us.”
Organizers boast of the market’s music component. Ketcham said about a dozen groups play throughout the season. “We try to showcase new talent,” she added.
Beside the gluten-free baker, The Frosted Piglet, other new vendors the season will include Honey Bee Sweets, with cupcakes and decorated cookies, and Bourbon Run Farm, with cheesecakes, quiches, pies and ice cream.
The market runs every Saturday through October, and also holds holiday specialty markets in November and December.