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Weekly Makers Market will return to downtown Farmington in June


Markets were not held last year because of pandemic

FARMINGTON — The Northwest New Mexico Arts Council is soliciting vendors for its weekly Makers Market events, which will return after a one-year absence on Thursday, June 3.

Arts council president Flo Trujillo said the markets will be held from 4:30 p.m. to dusk each Thursday through Oct. 28 in Orchard Park in downtown Farmington. The weekly markets were held each year from 2017 through 2019 but were cancelled last summer due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Vendors selling items ranging from fresh produce, baked goods, and arts and crafts to antiques and collectibles, and other items are encouraged to register, Trujillo said.

"Anything handmade or home grown is welcome," she said.

The opening night of the Makers Market will be special for several reasons, Trujillo said. Not only will it be the first market in a year and a half, it will be the first such event since the Complete Streets renovation of downtown was completed. Market organizers will celebrate by waiving the customary $8 fee for vendors, she said, after receiving sponsorship for the event from the Connie Gotsch Arts Foundation.

There also will be several special features at the June 3 market, she said. The San Juan College Harvest Food Hub & Kitchen truck will be present, allowing customers who have signed up for a weekly Farm Box of fresh produce to pick up their order. Visitors also will be able to learn about recipes that use fresh, locally grown produce.

The first market also will introduce a new feature called the Story Walk. Trujillo said families with children will be encouraged to read a book called "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle while making stops at several designated locations in the district. The book will be available in English and Spanish, she said.

Vendors interested in taking part in any of the Makers Markets are encouraged to register online at nwnmac.org, but walk-up vendors are welcome, too, Trujillo said. She said the arts council staff will be on hand at the first event to help people register.

In addition to the option for a one-day registration pass of $8, vendors may choose to purchase a five-day pass for $25, Trujillo said. The pass is usable any five Thursdays during the season, she said.

Trujillo said as of May 7, a half dozen vendors already had registered for the season-opening market. But she would love to see more.

"I'm hoping to at least get 12," she said. "And if we had 20, that would challenge me to position them safely."

Even though restrictions on public gatherings have been eased in San Juan County under the governor's public health orders, Trujillo said market officials will keep vendors spread out. She also said masks will be available to anyone who wants one, and hand sanitizing stations will be created.

Once all restrictions are lifted, Trujillo hopes to have live music at the weekly markets. For the opener, she said, she likely will be playing recorded music by local artists, and she hopes to be able to use the new public address system that was installed throughout downtown as part of the Complete Streets project.

Trujillo is anxious to see how people respond to the return of the market, which she considers an excellent opportunity to showcase the changes that have taken place in the district since the last time a market was held.

"I'm hoping families will start looking at Thursday nights to visit downtown and get some dinner or take a tour of the art in the alley," she said.

The Makers Market events are also a great chance for people with new products to gauge public response, she noted.

"The whole purpose of the Makers Market is to test and try out new products," she said, explaining that she hopes that vendors selling dresses or jewelry, for instance, might be persuaded by their success at the market to open a boutique downtown.

"It's a wonderful way to showcase something that's locally made and sold downtown," she said.

Call 505-320-0615 for more information.

Mike Easterling can be reached at 505-564-4610 or measterling@daily-times.com. Support local journalism with a digital subscription.