More than 30 vendors are set to haul their fresh produce and baked goods to downtown Tracy on April 12 to kick off the first of the year’s weekly farmers markets.
Just after sunrise for the next six months of Saturdays, local growers will hawk colorful fruits and veggies, while musicians entertain shoppers.
"The great thing about the market is you don’t have to check the labels to see where it came from," said Ken Cefalo, owner of Main Street Music and president of the Downtown Tracy Business Improvement Area, the group that heads up the market. "You know it was locally grown."
Downtown merchants voted to change the farmers market from Wednesdays to Saturdays last year in hopes that commuter families would shop on weekends. Some of the busiest weekends for last summer’s market drew 1,800 people.
"Last year on Saturdays, it was really successful for the market and for the merchants," Cefalo said. "This year, it should be even better."
The produce-focused market will open with a few more vendors than in years past because of Tracy’s steady crowds, he said.
The downtown business group named Pacific Coast Farmers’ Market Association as the market’s new organizer last year because Stockton Certified Farmers Market Association, which organized Tracy’s market in downtown since 1994, couldn’t run a weekend market. The Pacific Coast association runs 45 markets each week at the season’s peak, including some in Danville, Pleasanton and Livermore.
Thanks to the farmers market, Second Avenue consignment store bustles on weekends, according to Patti Blahnick, who opened the shop eight years ago.
"It’s brought a lot more people into the store who are discovering downtown," she said.
A starting date for Tracy’s Wednesday evening market, organized by Stockton Certified Farmers Market Association, has yet to be set, according to the group’s marketing manager, Carlos Dutra.
He reopened the Wednesday farmers market last year in the parking lot of the Kaiser Permanente building on Grant Line Road.
An opening day for the Mountain House Saturday farmers market, also organized by the Stockton association, is pending as well. Both the Mountain House and the Wednesday Tracy markets have about 15 vendors.
"We’re looking into different locations and at vendors," he said. "We won’t know for another couple of weeks or so."
At a glance
WHAT: Tracy Farmers Market
WHEN: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays, April 12 through Nov. 22
WHERE: Tenth Street in downtown Tracy
INFO: Downtown Tracy Business Improvement Area, 831-4170