A perfect market day in Suffolk

Published 9:02 pm Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saturday was one of those fine spring days when staying inside would almost have been a sin.

Strolling around the pavilion behind the Suffolk Visitor Center, I saw that I was hardly the only one who felt that way. On its first day of the 2015 season, the Suffolk Farmers’ Market was one of the most exciting places in town.

“It’s like our community spirit runneth over,” said Theresa Earles, the city’s tourism development manager, as she snapping photos for the tourism department’s Facebook page with watching her young son, who was eager to enjoy some of the snacks available at Saturday’s event.


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“The season’s only going to get better and better,” she added.

If that’s the case, then folks can expect great things from the farmers’ market this year, as the kickoff on Saturday was top-notch.

Suffolk’s market is not as large as some that can be found in Hampton Roads, and this time of year, the selection of produce and other goods can be pretty limited, anyway. But still there were honeys and homemade jams, homegrown vegetables and tasty fruit, flowers and handcrafted items available. Anyone looking to supplement a Sunday feast could have walked away with everything they needed to make it special.

But the actual farmers’ market part of the event was only a small part of the draw on Saturday. For the opening day, organizers had brought in a variety of attractions designed to capture the attention of both young and old.

As a DJ spun tunes over loudspeakers, visitors could enjoy a petting zoo with an alpaca, piglet, lamb, calf and other adorable creatures; they could enjoy the close-up tricks of Magic Dave; they could get mind and body in tune with an introductory yoga course from River Yoga; they could make their own crafts with the Suffolk Art League; and they could enjoy popcorn and other treats from the vendors that had been asked to participate.

“It’s been packed all day,” Earles said. “We’ve been hustlin’ and bustlin’ all day long.”

There’s no better way to kick off the farmers’ market season than with a big bang, but organizers don’t plan to let this first installment be the last big deal of the season. Next week, they will have representatives from Riddick’s Folly on hand selling heirloom boxwoods. And every first Saturday will feature some special event.

But you don’t have to wait for a first-Saturday special event to see what the market is like. Vendors will be selling produce, flowers, handicrafts and more every Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., through Nov. 21.

Make it a point to stop by sometime. You’ll be glad you did.