Under new management, farmers market now offers weekly themes

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Ramona Philpot of West Linn purchases fresh berries from Mirelle Soper of Albeke Farm in Oregon City. With new management in place this year, organizers at the West Linn Farmers Market decided to aim big.

In previous years, the weekly markets had been practically identical and attracting repeat customers proved difficult. The festivities needed a jolt, which came this summer in the form of weekly themes.

This year’s market opened June 19 with the Summer Solstice Renaissance Fair and continued during Wednesday’s Northwest Berry Festival. The July 3 market, meanwhile, features one of the new highlights: a pie bake-off contest that is open to the public and will be judged by a panel including Quartet restaurant executive chef Adam Kekahuna and KGW reporter Drew Carney.

“We were just trying to look at ways to make it more exciting for people to come every week,” Promotions Committee Chairwoman Shannen Knight said. “We get so much better of a turnout when we do a theme.”

The West Linn Farmers Market is now run by Allison Ehle, who previously ran the Hood River Saturday Market.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Balloon artist Eileen Newman chats with Cameron King.

The July 3 pie bake-off will feature prizes in the form of gift baskets from vendors and local businesses.

The deadline for entering a pie is 5 p.m. on the day of the contest, and Knight said judging will likely begin at around 5:30. The two categories are “fruit” and “other.”

Looking beyond next week’s contest, the July 10 market has a “Healthy Living Week” theme and will feature chair massages, acupressure and cooking demonstrations. On July 17 there will be a car show and a “West Linn 100th Anniversary Celebration” will take place Aug. 14.

Aside from the usual market offerings, there will be a limited amount of free cake to celebrate the centennial.

The market will close with a “End of Season Harvest Celebration” on Aug. 28, complete with a pot of communal “stone soup” that is based on a popular folktale.

Each Wednesday market runs from 4 to 7 p.m. in the 1700 block of Willamette Falls Drive. For more information, visit

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Caleb Denison and the band Dance Hall Days provided entertainment during the June 19 farmers market in West Linn.

by: TIDINGS PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Old Time Fair Queen Bobbi O'Brien, right, and Princess Zoe Craig try their hand at making cotton candy.

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