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Forest Grove Farmers Market marks birthday

Organizers gear up for next week's combined festivities with merchants.

The Forest Grove Farmers Market hits the one-year mark today and to celebrate, market organizers will provide free birthday cake.

The seasonal market, which recently moved to downtown Forest Grove, will also sponsor 'Here's to Your Health Day' with special focus on health, safety, and fitness.

So, in addition to the usual offerings of fresh produce, hot tamales, goat cheese, roasted corn and crafts, booths will also include information from local fitness clubs, an acupuncturist, a massage therapist and the Washington County Health Department.

Entertainment will be provided by the folk-rock group, the Shannon Tower Band.

This week's children's activity is sponge painting and 'balloon buddies.'

The market, which is managed by the local non-profit group, Adelante Mujeres, is held from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays on 21st Avenue, between Main Street and College Way.

Next week, even more activities are planned, as market day coincides with Late Night Tonight, a monthly offering of special events by merchants in downtown Forest Grove, who will remain open until 8 p.m. (for details see the special Sidewalk Sale ad in this week's paper.)

This is the first time that the event, formerly held on the first Friday of each month, has coincided with the market.

Even the News-Times is getting into the spirit. On Wednesday, Aug. 2, Bethanye Barkus, the paper's production assistant and an erstwhile cooking teacher, will offer free samples of a dish that uses market ingredients. (See recipe at right).

Bridget Cooke, executive director of Adelante Mujeres, said the move to 21st Avenue has brought new visitors to the year-old market. Volunteers counted more than 850 people last Wednesday.

'We are thrilled with the move downtown, which could not have been possible without the support of the city, Pacific University, the United Church of Christ, and many others,' she said. 'We also received a warm reception from the downtown merchants.'

Alejandro Tecum, the market manager, said the group also felt welcome at their previous location, the parking lot at 19th Avenue Plaza. 'We also want to thank all the merchants-particularly Horton's and Gratteri's,' he said. 'We received tremendous support from them, for which we are extremely grateful.'