Rain or shine, the Creston Farmers Market will open Monday at 4 p.m. at McKinley Park for their first week of business.
Typically managed by Alexi Groumoutis, the market will be in new hands this year as her niece Maria takes over while Alexi focuses on her cancer treatment.
“Maria has helped me with the market previously,” Alexi said in a Facebook post. “I will be guiding her behind the scenes throughout the season.”
The market runs every Monday until Sept. 25 excluding July 3 and Labor Day. Vendor fees are $8 for a day or $75 for the season. Pre-registering is not necessary, applications and contracts are available to fill out on site. For more information, message the Creston Farmers Market Facebook page.
New to the market this year is a grab-and-go food option. Spencer’s Chophouse will grill burgers during the months of June and August while Una Mas will serve food in July and September.
Everyone’s favorite flavored lemonade, Lemonade Shake-Ups will also be at the market during the month of June with additional dates to follow.
As usual, Beards of a Feather will play in the shelter during the market. “Bring lawn chairs if you want to listen to music,” Alexi said. “They’ve been doing this 11-plus years. They welcome anyone to come up with them.”
Groumoutis estimates 15-20 vendor booths will be set up for week one based on communications she’s received from sellers.
“As far as vendors go, we have such a variety of great vendors,” Groumoutis said. “From produce to artisan crafted jewelry to woodworking. We’ve even had freeze-dried foods.”
There are multiple income-based programs to help families purchase fresh, locally-grown produce.
The Connections Area Agency on Aging has vouchers available for seniors who reside within the 20 counties served by the agency. Seniors meeting income requirements can obtain $50 vouchers to use at participating area farmers markets.
To request an application, call 800-432-9209 and leave a message with name and phone number. All calls will be returned within five business days.
The Creston Farmers Market also participates in taking SNAP benefits. Benefits can be used at the stands with signs of the Iowa Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) card. In the past, Randall Honey, Three Bee Farms and Bridgewater Farms have accepted SNAP benefits.
From homemade crafts to kids activities and fresh vegetables, there’s sure to be something for everyone at the market.
The first week’s wellness demo will be sponsored by Greater Regional Health and the kids activity will be put on by Public Health.