If Woodstock residents continue to turn out for the Sunday morning market days, as they did for the grand opening on Sunday, June 26th, the new Woodstock Farmers Market will be an instant success.
After Portland Mayor Sam Adams cut the ceremonial ribbon to open the new outdoor Woodstock Farmers Market at 10 am, he observed to THE BEE, 'The turnout is amazing; the market is mobbed with wonderful happy neighbors. It's important for community-building, and it's an opportunity to have fun, right here in the neighborhood. We are allowed to have fun!'
During the brief ceremony leading up to the ribbon cutting, Market Manager Emily Murnen thanked the nonprofit market's twelve-member board, its sixty sponsors, and the dozens of volunteers who worked during the past year to create this brand new outdoor food bazaar.
'We also thank the fifth grade class at Woodstock Elementary School for decorating our music shell, and the students of Woodstock, Duniway, and Lewis Elementary Schools who created note-cards that are on sale here at the market, to help provide school nutrition information, as well as the fresh food nutrition program at Mt. Scott Community Center,' Murnen told the large crowd.
Brian Rice, District President of KeyBank and one of the Presenting Sponsors of the market, congratulated the Woodstock Community Business Association (WCBA) and the Woodstock Neighborhood Association (WNA) for getting behind the market. 'Enjoy it! We're thrilled to be part of this community, and part of the Woodstock Farmers Market,' he said. The event takes place on the parking lot of the new Key Bank in Woodstock.
'This does not feel like day one at this market!' exclaimed Lisa Sedler, Chief Executive Officer of New Seasons Markets, which was another presenting sponsor. 'It feels like you've been doing this for ten years.'
Mayor Adams stepped up to the microphone and said, 'Clearly you're on to something here, and congratulations. This is part of our effort to make every single neighborhood in Portland a complete, healthy neighborhood - and that includes support for local farmers, and it includes safe ways to get around; not only in your own neighborhood, but between neighborhoods, with walking and biking.'
After the ribbon was cut, the throng of shoppers moved in to visit the 28 vendors at the market. And, under a warm summer sun, market-goers enjoyed live music and entertainment, free pony rides, a rock climbing wall, and other special events.
While overseeing their first day of the new open-air farmers market, Murnen paused to tell THE BEE why, with the established Wednesday-afternoon Moreland Farmers Market just 32 blocks to the west, neighbors felt the need for a market in Woodstock.
'At business and neighborhood association meetings, people have been talking about how they really wanted this here in the community,' Murnen replied. 'A farmers market should be sustainable - and that also means being close enough to walk or bike to a market that brings farmers' food directly into our neighborhood. We encourage people to shop midweek at the Moreland Market, and come to Woodstock on Sunday mornings!'
During the first two hours of the first market, volunteer enumerators counted 1,866 people attending the market. The biggest challenge, according to Jeff Parker, was that the 28 vendors were overwhelmed by the turnout, and were running out of things to be sold.
'We're so happy to see so many neighbors here today - we hope to see them every Sunday,' Murnen said.
MORE ABOUT THE MARKET:
Woodstock Farmer's Market
4600 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard
9 am until 1 pm Sundays, through September 25
The market accepts SNAP