Outdoor market kicks off on Saturday with dog-sitting service, beer garden

by: TIMES FILE PHOTO: JAIME VALDEZ - Looking for a gift for Mother's Day? The Beaverton Farmers Market opens its summer season on Saturday and offers an array of plants, hanging baskets and flowers in addition to sweet treats.If there's a fresh directive to share about Saturday's opening of the 2013 Beaverton Farmers Market summer season, it would go something like: “Bring your dog, have a drink, apply sunscreen and enjoy yourself.”

While sunshine and spring warmth have been known to grace the market's opening weekend before, the ability to bring along the pet pooch and enjoy a cold one in between booth browsing are new elements for the formerly dog- and alcohol-free event.

For a $5 donation, patrons now have the option of pet-sitting courtesy of Sit-n-Stay, a service offered by HomePlate Youth Services of Washington County, an organization that provides shelter and assistance to homeless youths in need.

Meanwhile, “Local Liquid” is the market's new area dedicated for sampling and buying legal spirits from local craft distilleries, brewers and winemakers. Offerings will include free tastings, bottles of beer, glasses of wine and cocktails for purchase.

With a minimum of 120 vendors, 25 of them new, and a forecast calling for partly sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-70s, market Director Ginger Rappaport is fully prepared for great things when the summer market season kicks off at 8 a.m. at Beaverton City Park, at Southwest Hall Boulevard between Third and Fifth streets.

“We're ready,” she says of her 18th season at the market. “We could've had the market last week. I've been doing this a long time, and I never leave anything to the last minute. Whatever hasn't been at this point will be fine if it doesn't get done.”

Coming off a successful inaugural Winter Market season that concluded in April, Rappaport is, if anything, more confident than she usually is this time of year.

“It was extraordinarily successful,” she says of the first market season outside the usual May to late November “summer” run. “It was the third driest winter in recorded history. People really came out for it.”

Kids and dogs

As always, the opening of the summer market on Mother’s Day weekend will feature bountiful flower baskets and bouquets, an extensive selection of nursery stock, tempting baked goods, fresh produce, meats and other offerings to enhance family celebrations.

“Market Sprouts,” the popular children's program, will expand its activities in its second year, with more hands-on and scavenger hunt plans to educate young people about where their fruits and vegetables, meats and other food products come from.

Offered to dog-owning customers at the rate of $5 per 30-minutes, Sit-n-Stay service provides a convenience as well as an opportunity for homeless youth to learn new skills and responsibilities, Rappaport says.

“We've been working with HomePlate the last few seasons to support their activities. We were sitting around the table one day brainstorming. Pet-sitting was what the market always needed, but because of (liability) insurance, it's always been complicated,” she observes. “We found an insurance carrier willing to support them on this.”

Dogs, she admits, simply don't work well with 25,000 patrons roaming through a bustling outdoor market.

“The aisles get very crowded. You've got a dog on a leash, which is potentially dangerous,” she says. “People think because it's an outdoor event, they can bring dogs. They usually leash 'em up to a tree and come back and pick them up.”

Terra Neilson, development director of Washington County-based HomePlate, said Sit-n-Stay should provide a mutually beneficial service.

"We're so excited to be able to provide job experience for some of the young people in our program and a valuable service for dog owners attending the Beaverton Farmers Market,” she says, “but it's also an amazing opportunity for community members to interact with young people from HomePlate.”

Whetting the whistle

“Local Liquid” is a result of the Oregon Liquor Control Commission changing its regulations to allow the operation of craft distilleries, 12 of which Rappaport plans to schedule over the summer at the market.

“Now Oregon is leading the way like we did with microbrewers,” she says.

In addition, a collaboration with Hillsboro-based Ambact Brewing will add a beer and wine garden to the market's offerings and ambience.

“You can get a (spirit) sample. You can buy a bottle or get a glass of beer and have it with your tacos for lunch,” she says, noting OLCC regulations mean the garden will be truly distinct from the rest of the market. “We're going to have to have the Fort Knox of alcohol service areas. It's not like you can order shots or order all your favorite cocktails. But you can get a mojito.”

On top of changes Rappaport believes will enhance the enjoyment and user-friendliness of the market, she's thrilled the recent run of summer-like weather promises to continue at least through Saturday.

“I like for opening day to be nice,” she says. “It's such a festive time at the market, with people shopping for Mother's Day and thinking about gardens. I always like it to be really nice, and it looks like we're going to get our way.”

What: Beaverton Farmers Market summer season opening

When: Saturday 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; Wednesday Market begins June 19 and runs from 3 to 7 p.m.

Where: Beaverton City Park, Southwest Hall Boulevard, between Third and Fifth streets, near Beaverton City Library

Vendors: At least 120, with 25 new ones

Dog sitting: Sit-n-Stay dog-sitting service, $5 per 30 minutes through HomePlate of Washington County

Spirits: “Local Liquid,” will offer samples of craft distilleries as well as beer and wine for sale through Hillsboro-based Ambact Brewing in a separate beer-garden area for those 21 and older


Contract Publishing

Go to top
Template by JoomlaShine