NEWS ARTICLES 2005
Market secures spot for 2nd year
Wednesday, April 13, 2005
The Augusta Chronicle
Augusta's downtown farmers market has found fertile ground on Macarten Street, where it will soon open for the second year in a row.
The weekly event will kick off at 8 a.m. Saturday and be open until 1 p.m. along the closed-off side street that connects Broad and Reynolds between Ninth and 10th streets.
The third year of operation for the market comes after multiple attempts to find a permanent home, which included stints at the Augusta Common and near the abandoned railroad depot.
The opening of the market was announced Tuesday at a news conference at the downtown clock by Main Street Augusta, which oversees the market.
This year's market will open two weeks earlier than last year's to give early season growers an opportunity to sell, said Carole Nelson, Main Street's co-chairwoman for the project.
"We're also going to open it to backyard growers," she said. "We need you."
The market also will be open to those who wish to provide entertainment or sell homemade crafts or food, she said.
The market has received $50,000 in city money this year and $27,000 for next year, after which funding will be cut off.
Because of that, event sponsors are being sought, said Chris Naylor, the executive director of Main Street Augusta.
"We want to make sure the market becomes self-sufficient within two years," he said.
Keeping the market going is important because it helps bring foot traffic downtown, Mr. Naylor said.
"It's an economic tool for downtown. Last year businesses did see an increase in business on Saturdays," he said.
The event, dubbed this year as the Saturday Market on Broad, will take place every Saturday morning until Sept. 24.
The Saturday Market on Broad will not replace the state Farmers Market, located on Fifth Street and operated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture. The state Farmers Market, in existence since 1942, is open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.