Gig Harbor Farmers Market Evolution Leads to Indoor Location

Gig Harbor Farmers MarketIt’s been a bit like musical chairs for the Gig Harbor Farmers Market during the last two decades, and 2014 is no different. But this time, the new location for the popular Saturday market is a great fit. And hopefully, a permanent one.

Welcome to the new and improved Gig Harbor Farmers Market, now operating every Saturday from April through September, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the former location of Peninsula Gardens, 5503 Wollochet Drive.

I’ve been a fan of the Gig Harbor Farmers Market for about 20 years and throughout that time the market has struggled to find a permanent location.

Gig Harbor Farmers MarketBut thanks to the persistence of market director Dale Schultz and many other supporters, the Gig Harbor Farmers Market survived. Despite a down economy, certain shortsighted local politicians and challenging permitting process, the popularity of the market is greater than ever before.

It only takes a quick Google search to find dozens of studies on the positive economic impact farmers markets have on communities.

Not only do regularly organized and stable markets provide a tourist destination that brings incoming dollar flow into a community, but it also create a community gathering place for social interaction, commerce, arts and entertainment. Additionally markets create a fundraising opportunity for service clubs and nonprofits within a community.

Using public facilities and parks to drive such a positive, colorful and fun phenomena as a farmers market seems like a no-brainer.

Gig Harbor Farmers MarketThe new location of the Gig Harbor Farmers Market on Saturdays offers great parking, indoor and outdoor vendor space, restrooms, electricity and more. The expanded location creates an opportunity for kids’ activities, food vendors, live music and special events.

During the holiday season, the market also will be open for Christmas decorations and goodies. All of this thanks to PenMet Parks and the organization’s ability to see how valuable a farmers market is to communities like Gig Harbor.

From June to September, the market continues its Wednesday and Sunday offerings at Skansie Brothers Park in downtown Gig Harbor from 11 a. m. to 4 p.m. This location drives locals and visitors into the historic core and creates a colorful event that fits well with other downtown summer activities.

The evolution of the Gig Harbor Farmers Market has not always been easy, but today it is better, stronger and more colorful and creative than ever before. Thanks to persistence, hard work and most of all, community support.

See you at the market!

Click here to see the WSHG list of farmers markets all
around West Sound and enjoy the local bounty.