MARYVILLE, Mo. — There should be a lot of people in town on Saturday, May 4, with the annual city-wide garage sale taking place. … And the Maryville Farmers Market will be ready for the additional traffic through the downtown area.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Maryville Host Lions Club will be hosting the market, which typically features a wide variety of farm-fresh produce, baked goods and handcrafted items from local vendors. Assisting the Lions with sponsorship of this year’s efforts will be the City of Maryville, FCS Financial and the Missouri Department of Agriculture.
“This started as a way to build some foot traffic in downtown Maryville and to provide an organized farmers market,” said Sam Mason, one of the coordinators of the event. “The thing I like about it the most is that it gives people something to do on a Saturday morning where they can come out and support their community, they can reconnect with friends, and it gives local producers, crafts people and artisans a venue to showcase their work and sell their products.”
The market, located all but one weekend at the corner of Fourth and Buchanan streets, annually runs from 7:30 a.m. through noon from the first weekend in May through the last weekend in September.
On Saturday, July 20, during the Nodaway County Fair — as it has the past two years — the market will move two blocks south to the First United Methodist Church parking lot at the corner of Second and Buchanan streets. Of course weather can play a role in altering the schedule from time to time, as can the availability of local produce.
Potential visitors can keep up-to-date with changes to the schedule and special announcements by visiting the market’s website:
Mason, a member of Host Lions who has played a key role in the coordination of the market since the club first took on the project, wants potential visitors to know that the market is not just the same stuff every weekend.
“It’s just a really good way for people to connect with their community,” Mason said. “It gets people out of the house and gives them something to do with their kids on a Saturday morning.
“It’s really a destination on a Saturday morning for a lot of people and I wish more people would take advantage of it.”
New to the market this year will be an increased emphasis on vendors incorporating some sort of a tent, as opposed to any make-shift-type of shade apparatus, as well as encouraging vendors to sell from any sort of booth-like arrangement rather than selling directly from a vehicle.
“Vendors are encouraged to move their vehicle out of the lot after setting up their booth,” Mason said. “This provides more space for market-goers, as well as allowing for greater visibility for all vendors.”
Mason said there may be some exceptions and ultimately it will be up to the market manager on any given Saturday. Those with questions about regulations can call Mason at 816-392-3381.
On the second Saturday of each month, like last year, the market will offer free health screenings in cooperation with Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville.
In an interview with The Forum on Tuesday morning, Mason said the purpose of the screenings is to promote healthy living through increased education.
“We want to give people the opportunity to know what their numbers are: their blood sugar levels, their blood pressure and cholesterol levels,” Mason said. “We really want to focus on health again this year and give people an opportunity and really no excuse for not coming out to the market, seeing what their numbers are and buying some healthy food while they’re at it.”
Mosaic Community Health Liaison Jackie Ross, also a Lion, has worked with the market for the past two years to offer screenings and this year will be no different, with an emphasis on blood pressure checks, hands-only CPR training and cholesterol and blood sugar screenings.
Mosaic Community Relations Manager Rita Miller says multiple hospital departments will play a role in the monthly screenings thanks to Ross’ involvement with the Lions and the partnership that has blossomed between the two groups.
Miller knows that this type of community education can literally lead to saving the lives of local residents.
“We know that heart disease is the No. 1 killer in Nodaway County,” Miller said. “To avoid strokes and some other heart disease-related issues, we try to do screenings throughout the community.”
Another feature of the Farmers Market takes place on the last Saturday of each month when the market welcomes flea market-type vendors in addition to the 12-18 vendors it sees on a weekly basis.
One of the more popular vendors in recent years has been the Yoder’s Doughnuts food truck.
Mason would like to see more food vendors take part in the market, as well as local entertainment.
Anyone interested in providing food or entertainment should give Mason a call.
In addition to offerings that would add to the atmosphere and the overall foot traffic, Mason would like to see more participation from area youth.
“We would like to encourage more young people to get involved,” Mason said. “We had a young lady from Fillmore that came up last year who was saving up for college and to buy a car and she made pies every weekend … she sold them out … they were amazing.”
To encourage young entrepreneurs, the market offers a reduced vendor fee to those 12 years old and under. Those children are charged $2 each Saturday instead of the usual $10 fee.