For nine years, the Auburn International Farmers Market did its tasty, entertaining thing at the Sound Transit Plaza in downtown Auburn.
But for its 10th and its 11th and perhaps 12th seasons, the market will be on fresh digs at the former Big Daddy’s site at Les Gove Park off Auburn Way South.
It’s about avoiding potential traffic difficulties and construction barriers related to plans for construction of two large, mixed-used buildings on two lots east of the plaza. Market officials also say that sales and customers have fallen the last few seasons, and the Les Gove site not only allows for more vendors but also offers ample parking for patrons and vendors.
The upshot is that from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Sunday from June 3 through the end of September, the market will offer not only the same 40, cream-of-the-crop vendors and the same, easy access to local, farm-fresh products and hand-crafted items but also to those awesome restaurant-based concession stands with their promise of home-cooked tastes. There’ll be free performances, guest chef demonstrations with farm-fresh ingredients, children’s activities, and classes on health, nutrition and gardening.
“Our hope is to both grow the market so the farmers can create more revenue and give them a larger audience share,” said Daryl Faber, director of the Auburn Parks, Arts & Recreation Department. “We know that about 300 cars a day drive by the current site, and about 20,000 go by the other site. So we are hoping with visibility, and with all the other activities happening at Les Gove Park, such as the spraypark and museum, it’s just a better site.
“We are also bringing into play there the former Herr Big Daddy site, which we think will have more visibility, and work out perfectly for the market and some summer activities we are going to be doing at that site,” Faber said.
Watch for special events throughout the season like Kids Day, Dog Days of Summer, and the popular annual Chili Cook-Off between the Auburn Police Department and Valley Regional Fire Authority. The market will also continue to accept EBT and match EBT funds with Fresh Bucks.
On opening day, from 9 to 11:30 a.m., the Kiwanis Club of Auburn will sell breakfast and lunch.
The City of Auburn coordinates the market.