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Farmers' markets make the scene in spring

Hillsboro markets get ready to debut fresh produce, arts and crafts

Children and youth enjoy the cooling waters of the Civic Center plaza fountain on a hot summer day at a 2015 Hillsboro market.It’s that time of year.

The sun starts to peek from behind the clouds, the streets warm up and people come out of their home-bound winter hibernation.

And, the farmers’ markets come into bloom around Washington County. In the Hillsboro area, there are three main markets, each with their own charms and focuses.

Here’s a sampling of what’s about to sprout in the area:

Downtown Hillsboro Saturday Farmers’ Market

A tradition in Hillsboro for more than three decades, this market is a seasonal open-air market featuring fresh local produce and garden products, culinary arts and crafts and live music — with educational information booths sprinkled throughout.

One of the longest running farmers’ markets in the Northwest, the Saturday market was established in 1981 and has become a traditional community gathering place and host to more than 100 vendors and 8,000 visitors each week.

The market opens April 30 and its last day of the season is Oct. 29. Saturdays. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. It’s located on Main Street between First and Third avenues, one block northwest of the Third Avenue MAX station.The market offers more than produce. Beautiful flowers are also a popular buy.

The market this year will continue its SNAP/ Oregon Trail Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) market money options for customers. Shoppers can use their debit or Oregon Trail card at the HFM information booth in exchange for market money (wooden tokens) at the HFM information booth. WIC customers can use their vouchers directly with vendors that are authorized to accept these vouchers.

Hillsboro Tuesday Night Market

This weekly summer outdoor festival features a farm and foods marketplace, art and shopping, live music, international cuisine, local events and activities in downtown Hillsboro.

The Tuesday evening market provides a public gathering place where community members can enjoy local bands and other musical entertainment, fresh locally-grown produce, flowers and plants; art from local artists; crafts made by regional artisans; food from local restaurateurs; a classic car display; information from community organizations and educational and health programs. Carnival-style rides arent unusual at the downtown market, coexisting with flower vendors and artisans.

Governed by a board of directors, the marketplace originated in 1998 as a way to bring people to historic downtown Hillsboro and to provide local farmers and crafters with another market venue for selling their goods.

Dates and times for the 2016 market season: Every Tuesday evening from 5 to 8:30 p.m. from June 14 to Aug. 30. The market is situated along Main Street.

Orenco Station Farmers’ Market

In 2003 the Hillsboro Farmers’ Market and Orenco Station retailers joined to present the Hillsboro Sunday Farmers’ Market at Orenco Station. The market at Orenco Station is open-air and features fresh, local, agricultural food and garden products, fine arts and crafts, live music and educational information.

Celebrating its 14th season, the Orenco market welcomes 65 vendors and about 6,000 customers each week.

The market is sponsored by the Orenco Station Business Owner’s Association. A band provides musical entertainment for market-goers last season.

Beginning Sunday, May 1, and extending to Oct. 20, the Orenco market will open at 10 a.m. and close at 2 p.m. It’s located at Orenco Station Parkway and Northeast 61st Avenue, just off Cornell Road.

HILLSBORO TRIBUNE FILE PHOTOS - A shopper peruses tomato plants at a farmers market last summer.