When the Moab Farmers’ Market returns to Swanny City Park this May, things will be a little different, according to Delite Primus, the executive director of the Youth Garden Project, which organizes the popular event.
In the past, the Farmers’ Market has been held on Saturday mornings throughout the summer. This year, Primus said, the market will take place on Thursday evenings instead.
“The past several years we’ve seen a decrease in attendance,” Primus said. “We’re hoping that more people will be available this way.”
Discussions the Youth Garden has had with local residents revealed that many people in Moab, both locals and tourists, tend to be busy on Saturday.
“They’re trying to get outside and enjoy what the area has to offer,” Primus said.
By moving the market to Thursday, the Youth Garden is hoping it won’t have to compete with other weekend activities.
“People feel like there’s a need for more social, family friendly events during the week,” she said.
Primus said organizers are aiming to ensure that the market remains the same type of social event that people have enjoyed on Saturday mornings.
“We’re reaching out to food vendors to try and get some prepared food,” Primus said, adding that she hopes people will show up and have dinner and enjoy the live entertainment.
Aside from the time change, the format of the market will remain the same. Local producers and arts and craft vendors will still be there to sell locally made and grown products. That includes vendors from within a 150-mile area, she said.
Moab resident Emily Niehaus is excited about the change.
“I see it as a great chance to relax and be social in the evening,” she said. “I love that we get a chance as a town to shake things up and try new ideas.”
But not everyone is happy about the change, however. Moab resident Kari Han said she spends approximately $75 each week at the market during the summer. But Han said her family eats dinner at six, meaning that she’s usually cooking at five when the market will begin this year.
“They did not think of families when they did this,” she said. “Unless those families don’t eat until eight at night.”
Heila Ershadi said that she will continue to attend the market, despite the change. “I hope it works for raising attendance,” she said. “It is a tough time for many families with dinner and bedtime routines, but I imagine it will be a better time for many others.” Ershadi said that she will plan on either taking a picnic dinner to the market, or they’ll eat there. “I wish there could be an evening and a morning market,” she said.
The Moab Farmers’ Market will open May 2 and will operate every Thursday evening from 5 to 8 p.m. until mid-October.