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Interest from produce growers and vendors on the rise, as is attendance at Scappoose market each Saturday

PHOTO COURTESY OF BILL BLANK - Vendors at the Scappoose Farmers Market sell a variety of goods like produce, flowers and handmade products. The market is open from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday from May until October.The Scappoose Farmers Market, which has recently kicked off its 16th summer season, is an open-market trove for shoppers on the hunt for fresh produce, locally grown goods and handmade products.

Market manager Bill Blank especially expects a large crowd the weekend of Saturday, June 16, as cyclists and community members converge in the city for the third annual Columbia Century Challenge, the Scappoose Party in the Park, and the Scappoose Farmers Market.

With cyclists taking off from Heritage Park for more than a 100-mile bike ride, which will loop back to the park for the finish, Blank expects a larger than usual turnout at the market, including friends and family waiting to cheer on participants in the bike challenge.

"[I'm] definitely expecting bigger crowds," Blank says. "With the bicycle race starting in Heritage Park ... I'm expecting the support system for them to just be hanging around. They'll want something to do."

And if the weather is warm and sunny, he adds, attendance is sure to swell.

"We've just been getting general good turnout," Blank says. "As we get deep into the summer the more and more people show up and the sun is out and we're getting more people out there."

This year, Blank has experienced a high level of early interest and involvement from vendors and farmers. During a typical summer season, interest usually acts like a bell curve, Blank explains. But this year, many vendors have been involved from the start.

"This year I'm getting such a great turnout. It's been such a great year for vendors and customers, that I have to find room for all of them," Blank says, noting that registered vendors are in the high 20s this year.

The Scappoose Farmers Market has come a long way since the very first market Blank helped host with two vendors in a parking lot near Scappoose City Hall in early 2000s.

Now, the market has a blossoming following and nearly 20 regular vendors.

The Scappoose Farmers Market runs from May to October, every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. There will be expended hours on June 16, when the market will close at 4 p.m.

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