Market opening day is packed with features.
Valley Radio 1620 AM will broadcast live from Ligonier Country Market when the 2017 season begins on Saturday, May 20. Opening day will offer special activities for everyone, from garden planting for the children to hands-on art projects, and even horse-drawn carriage rides.
John West, a founder of the Market some 41 years ago, will be at the red information tent to sound the opening bell at 8 a.m. The closing bell is sounded at noon. Ligonier Country Market continues to abide by the founders’ motto of “Make It, Bake It, or Grow It.”
Radio 1060 will provide music and interview shoppers and vendors from 8:30 to 11:30. If you can’t make it to Market, tune in to hear your neighbors explain what is in their shopping bags and faithful vendors talking about their products.
Over in the children’s garden, near the first entrance, members of the Weeders and Seeders Garden Club of Ligonier will help visiting children plant seeds and plants to be harvested later in the year. The Market scarecrow, Daisey Mae, will distribute seed packets and help with the planting. Children are invited to join Daisey Mae in the garden for stories at 10:30, 11, and 11:30.
A first for Market, horse-drawn carriage rides will be offered. Round trips are planned from the Market through town to the Ligonier Diamond and back, or from the Diamond to the Market and back. Enjoy a leisurely carriage ride through town and stop to shop at either destination.
Participants in the Ligonier Art Walk will offer an on-site art project. Facilitators will help you or the children get in touch with that artistic side, and will provide information on the local Art Walk.
Regular market-goers will notice an empty tent this week in the space formerly occupied by Bill Palombo, who passed away earlier this year. Bill’s pizzelles were a favorite with market-goers of all ages for many years. We all miss you, Bill.
At the information tent, located near the northern entrance, Market Executive Director Cari Frei and board members will distribute sturdy and attractive market bags featuring the Ligonier Country Market scarecrow logo and advertising from other generous sponsors. Distribution will be one per family while the supply lasts.
All these special features are only the opening act. The main event all season long will be found as you walk the rows of over 140 vendors. Producers sell annual and perennial plants, baked goods, farm raised beef, lamb, pork, and poultry, and seasonal vegetables. You will find the finest of baked goods, cheeses, fudge, honey, preserved sauces, jellies, and pickles, maple syrup, spices, and even locally-produced wine and beer.
Market crafters offer a wide selection of items for your home, including aluminum signs, blankets, needlework, paintings and photographs, pottery, wood items large and small, and wreaths and vintage floral designs. For your personal use, choose from among the purses, jewelry, leather belts, scrubs and soaps, tie-dye, shawls and scarves, and skin care products.
If you need a gift for a special occasion, you will find hand-made doll clothes for your granddaughter and a selection of dog collars for your favorite pooch, frames, knit items, fancy soaps, decorated gourds, birdhouses, leaf-stamped garden stones, and even guitars.
Hungry? Stop for a loaded grilled cheese sandwich, grilled pizza, beignet, Hungarian specialty, Italian dishes, pierogies, gyros, hamburger, or ice cream, popcorn, lemonade, and iced tea. Take home some of these delicious items for later, and add some jarred pickles, hot sauce, or hummus for good measure.
Director Frei and Market board members, who have been working on the 2017 season since last season’s final horn, are sure you will leave opening day with a smile on your face and a bulging market bag or two. Enjoy the season!