With many indoor events canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the city of Moab wanted to give residents opportunities to be safely out and about while providing farmers and artists a venue to sell their work, said Liz Holland, Moab’s arts and special events manager.
That’s why the city and Moab Arts revived the farmers market tradition in 2020 as the Market on Center, which will open for its second season on Thursday, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m. Subsequent markets will take place the first and third Thursdays of each month through September 16. The outdoor market will be held in front of Moab City Hall at 217 E. Center Street.
The new name better reflects the wide variety of items for sale – such as handcrafted jewelry, silverwork, macramé, skincare products and succulent plants. And, like last year there will be informational booths. For example, last year Underdog Animal Rescue and Rehab was there with puppies to adopt. Produce vendors like Easy Bee Farms and Farm Yard will be at the market selling fresh fruits, herbs and vegetables.
“We’re working on securing grants (and completing paperwork) and approval by the state to accept SNAP benefits and Double Up Food Bucks,” said Holland. “We hope to have it in place by May 20.”
Jess Oldham is the owner of Farm Yard, a business she started in 2014 “as a way to farm in my yard and encourage other people to do the same.”
Oldham will have produce for sale at the market, but her main focus is cut flowers including tulip, dahlias and other varieties that bloom throughout the season.
“I’ve been a grower of food for 15 years; flowers have always been a part of that,” she said. “It’s my favorite part of the growing.”
Oldham said she found a welcome reception for her cut flowers at last year’s market. During a pandemic year that many found challenging, Oldham said flowers seemed to offer “a little joy” for people.
“People loved the flowers I brought, cut that day,” she said. “It was a great way to connect with people,” during a pandemic year.
“I learned there is this market for (flowers). A lot of people are getting married here in Moab.”
Grand County Public Library will also have a presence at the Market on Center. A staff member will be present with the Library Book Bike to make items available for checkout. There will also be materials to give away, such as advanced reader copies, or books donated to Friends of the Library, said Library Assistant Director Meg Flynn.
The library’s cargo bicycle is a three-wheeler with a pop-up bookshelf in the back to display books and other materials. You’ll likely find market-themed titles related to cooking or gardening, Flynn said.
“We can also help people by demonstrating online library resources,” she added. “Throughout the pandemic, we’ve helped people get more familiar with (those resources). We’re really excited to have a library presence at Market on Center.”
Because vendors can sign up for a single market event, or choose to participate for the entire season, the number of vendors varies throughout the season. Last year, there were typically 20-35 vendors each week, Holland said.
Local groups, businesses or individual proprietors can register as vendors at www.moabarts.org/event-details/market-on-center.
What: Market on Center
When: First and third Thursdays beginning Thursday, May 6 from 5 to 8 p.m.
Where: East Center Street (200 East to the Grand County Library)