Local growers will gather on Summit Street in Winona to sell fresh produce at the soft opening of the Mississippi Crossroads Farmers’ Market on Saturday.
Mayor Aaron Dees announced during the Winona Board of Aldermen meeting on Tuesday that the market will be open from 8 a.m. until noon, and there will be a grand opening from 8 a.m. until noon on July 2.
The market will be set up in the grassy area between the old police station and the driveway leading to the Montgomery County Courthouse, according to Anna Turner, president of the Mississippi Crossroads Farmers’ Market.
Growers and patrons will be able to use the parking lot at the old police station for parking, Turner said at the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors meeting on Monday.
She asked supervisors if patrons and sellers could use the east side of the courthouse for parking, if needed.
Board members had no objections with Turner’s request.
In a previous meeting, Turner asked if the market could be set up on the east side of the courthouse. However, the committee had grown concerned with sheriff’s deputies’ ability to leave the area quickly and easily in the event of an emergency.
“We were concerned about the sheriff’s department and the patrons, if they were walking around,” said Turner. “If y’all ended up getting a call and had to fly out of the parking lot. We just want to make sure everybody was safe.”
Sheriff Jeff Tompkins told Turner the location is good as long as sellers and patrons do not block the street.
Turner said she and the market committee have been working diligently to get the farmers’ market operational.
“We’ve had an overwhelming positive response from our community and with the help of the ladies at the [Mississippi State University] Extension office and Kirby Green and the Department of Agriculture and Commerce,” said Turner.
She went on to say, “Within a week’s time, we had over 1,000 people liking our page, and we aren’t even up and running.”
The committee is considering a location on north Applegate Street to accommodate the market in case participation and attendance grows beyond the location near the old police station, Turner said.
“I can really see this growing,” said Turner. “A lot of vendors are interested and want to come – a lot of farmers. We’re excited about it.”