May 18, 2011
By Steve Marschke
Meaghan Perrelli believes the new West Sacramento Farmers Market will live up to Mayor Cabaldon’s prediction that it will become “one of the great ones.” The market will open its doors (figuratively, since it’s an open-air market) at 4:30 p.m. tomorrow at 1271 West Capitol. The tables and booths will go up in a vacant lot behind Walgreens, and across the street from city hall.
“We have a total of about 35 vendors,” said Perrelli. “Most are farmers, and the other 10 or so offer prepared foods – like United Bakeries, which is doing a project with the West Sacramento Youth Resource Coalition. They’re going to sell bread. We have five restaurants – Wicked West Pizza, Pooja (Indian) Grill, The Eatery. The Eatery (a ‘bistro’ slated to open soon in Southport) is going to be doing seasonal shortcake. The Hot Dogger will also be here.”
Perrelli is the Chamber’s point-person in charge of organizing the new market. She’s confident the market has what it needs for success, and that the rather unappealing empty lot she visited with a reporter earlier this week will become a hive of happy people on Thursday afternoon. The markets are slated to continue weekly on Thursday afternoons, from 4:30 to dusk, through September 29.
As a “certified” farmers market, the produce will come directly from the folks who grew it – “with a Yolo County focus,” said Perrelli.
Perrelli is also excited that the West Sacramento market will strive to be “zero waste.”
“We are partnering with Waste Management,” she said. “All the restaurants were told to provide only recyclable or compostable plates, spoons and everything. There will be marked containers. We will have two different stations – one for compostable matter, and one for recycling. We’re trying to make it as close to ‘zero waste’ as possible.”
The weather report looks like it will cooperate, with early-week rains giving way to a sunny Thursday afternoon in the 70s. But will the crowds come?
“People are really excited,” Perrelli said. “We distributed information to all the schools, and we have a lot of people following us on our Facebook page – almost 400 people.”
The markets will often feature live music. The band scheduled for the opening night will be Mike McGowan and the Mighty Delta Road Masters, set to begin at 6 p.m. McGowan is a former mayor and current Yolo County Supervisor who lives in West Sacramento and happens to play the drums.
Getting to the market by car and then finding a place to park may require some improvisation, due to limited downtown parking. But parking in the city hall lot will be allowed during market hours, and organizers are also encouraging people to bike or use the bus.
“We’re working with the YoloBus system and in all of the bus shelters, there are signs telling people how to take a bus line to the market. And the month of May is bike month. The first two weeks of the market, anyone who bicycles to the market can pick up one ‘Farmers Market Buck’ to use at the market. They can pick it up at the information booth at the market, on the honor system. They just have to say ‘I biked here.’”
Perrelli said she and the Chamber have encouraged the Farmers Market to be used as a reason for surrounding businesses near Merkley Avenue and West Capitol to begin holding a “sidewalk sale” and other special events during the weekly market.
“But we haven’t confirmed if anybody is doing that this week,” she told the News-Ledger.
For more information on the market, call the Chamber at 371-7042, visit www.wsmarket.com, or email email@example.com.
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