The Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market is set to resume operations from April 1 to Sept. 2 after being closed for the winter season. This year, the market is starting earlier and running longer than usual due to the wishes of some of the vendors.
“A lot of our gardeners, because it didn’t rain last year, didn’t have a lot of produce or as much as we wanted,” said Volunteer Manager Elaine Steele. “So a lot of farmers said they didn’t want to do it in the heat and would prefer to come in the spring, so they’ll do all the spring produce like all the spinaches and broccoli and things that are more cold. The city of Kingston is always been very helpful too, they put up their electronic signs and they’re going to change it every week to highlight what will be offered that week as far as a fun event. A lot of the vendors that were in the market before want to come back, so we’ll have a combination of bakers, produce makers, and artisans as well.”
“One thing we’ve really been working hard on is that a lot of people in Roane County don’t even know about the Farmers market, so what we decided to do was to do a special event every Saturday in a lot of different categories to bring a big variety of people into the market and gain a lot more interest,” said Susan Holton, also with Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market. “In April, there’s a fantasy day where you can dress like your favorite character and there will be games and other stuff. There’s Community pet shows and we have live music, from local talents once every month through Sept. 2. We have a big chili cook-off then, a big finale.”
Steele said funds from the pet shows will go toward various Roane county humane societies and animal shelters. Several Non-Governmental Organizations and local community action agencies will also be present to advertise and raise funds.
The Kingston Lakeside Farmers Market runs from 8-11 a.m. in the parking lot between Bethel Presbyterian and Kingston Methodist located at 203 Kentucky Street in Kingston.
Other events and attractions of interest include rock painting, a First responders day, birthday celebrations, and a quilt-making competition.
The Farmers Market is currently looking to recruit more vendors and farmers. Sign-up to become a vendor is completely free, though sign up is required for space management purposes. Those looking to learn more or become a vendor can go to https://www.kingstonlakesidemarket.com/index.php
Events listed for the months of April and May include:
April 8 Fantasy Saturday with Axe throwing
April 15 Live Music — Cecil Hare
April 29 Pet Show & Costume Competition
May 6 Chalk Drawing Contest
May 20 Live Music — Jamie Jordan