Sparta Farmers Market set to open this Saturday
The Sparta Wisconsin Farmers Market will be kicking off its market season this weekend on Saturday, May 8 at Mueller Square. The outdoor, open market supplies the community with fresh, locally grown produce, cut flowers, handmade craft items, pickles and jams, meat, eggs, fresh baked bread, body care products and a variety of farm goods.
Vendors in the Sparta area have been gathering on a weekly basis during the summer months for years, offering fresh produce and handmade items to their fellow community members.
In the past, the Sparta Farmers Market has set up shop in the former Cowboy Village parking lot, on the courthouse lawn, across from the Market Tavern and at the Butterfest grounds.
In 2012, staff with the City of Sparta invited the farmers market to relocate to the downtown area by offering vendors a space in the library parking lot. Through two summers the group was faced with some challenges, which included major construction projects in the Water Street area.
As development of a downtown greenspace progressed and a tiny German ‘Kriskindlmarkt’ village emerged, so did a new opportunity for the farmers market.
After organizing themselves as an official nonprofit organization, they were able to take advantage of grants offered through the city, landing themselves in Mueller Square.
Mueller Square is located at 120 North Water St. in downtown Sparta. The market, which is open to the public, typically runs every Saturday and Wednesday until the third Saturday in October.
Saturday hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. Wednesday hours are 3 to 6 p.m.
This weekend, families can partake in some educational opportunities as well. April Anderson, a Health & Well-Being educator and FoodWIse Coordinator from UW-Extension in Monroe County, will be at the band stage providing information on how to use, cook and store the produce found at the market.
Visitors can also enter for a chance to win a fun, family-oriented prize.
This year, the farmers market will be raffling off a beautiful quilt and two charming vintage bikes. The items will be on display at the market and visitors can purchase tickets for a chance to win.
For individuals interested in becoming a vendor, please see any of the Sparta Farmers Market Association board members for details about fees, market guidelines and to receive a vendor packet.
To learn more about the farmers market and to read vendor profiles, please visit the Sparta Wisconsin Farmers Market Facebook page.