The Lebanon Farmers Market will be holding a grand reopening event Sept. 21 through Sept. 23 during regular market hours.
Each day there will be a different event. Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. there will be live music; Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. local radio station Froggy Valley 100.1 will be live at the event; and Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m. Heroes on Call will be offering balloon animals and a magic show.
Throughout the weekend, there will be giveaways, including a gas grill, gift cards for the Lebanon Farmers Market and Schaylor Brewing Company, and t-shirts. Many vendors will be offering discounts as well.
The reopening is, in part, a celebration that the market is full for the first time in years. All of the available spaces are occupied by vendors, and there is a waitlist of people interested in opening a stand when space becomes available.
“The fact that it’s full makes us feel like we’re headed in the right direction,” said market owner Jason Schwalm. “It took a little bit longer to fill it up, but we still had that vision and it just kind of all came together.”
Filling all of the available spaces was a primary goal for Schwalm, but there was a setback when several vendors left the market soon after it changed ownership.
“It just took the wind out of us,” said Schwalm. “We thought it was going to take off but then it felt like we took two steps back.”
However, through a combination of advertising, social media presence, and new vendors bringing their followings, foot traffic at the market has been increasing, especially now that it is full. Schwalm hopes that the reopening event will continue that trend during the market’s slow season, which is typically around September and October.
“We just want to keep that positive momentum going,“ said Schwalm. “With the fact that we’ve got new vendors, there’s lots of excitement, so we just want to keep bringing customers in.”
In the future, Schwalm hopes to have more events to bring people into the market. While nothing is definite, some of his ideas include an open mic night, more live music, and a visit from Santa.
“We just want to keep the excitement level up and continue to build and improve on what we have,” he said. “To keep making positive changes, that would be the ultimate goal.
Schwalm hopes the market continues to be an asset to downtown Lebanon and the community as a whole.
“To sum it up, the market is a place where everyone is welcome,” he said. “(They can) come together and buy some of the best local items, anything from produce, meats and cheeses, baked goods, seafood, et cetera.”
The Lebanon Farmers Market is located at 35 S. Eighth Street. It is open on Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
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