The area’s agricultural bounty and craftsmanship will soon be on display as the Turlock Certified Farmers Market opens for its eighth consecutive season on Saturday.
The market will run from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 14 at the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds. This will be TCFM’s second year at the fairgrounds. The previous six years, the market was located in downtown Turlock.
“It’s the first season in a long time that we’ve stayed in the same place, location and time. We’re looking forward to doing some more unique events than we have in the past,” said TCFM Board President Brandon Follett.
The market is opening two weeks earlier than in previous years, and closing two weeks earlier in October. TCFM Market Manager Derek Griffin said the season change was a way to catch more of the early fruit season, however, the historically rainy spring is mitigating those efforts.
“We’ll be about 45 vendors on opening day. The rain has slowed down the crop production a little, by mid-May we’ll be back over 50 vendors,” said Griffin.
Despite the late harvest season, there will still be plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables available on opening day for visitors to choose from, said Griffin.
J & J Ramos Farms of Hughson will be offering oranges, apples, strawberries, raisins, walnuts and almonds at the market on Saturday.
“We’re excited to see our customers,” said Valeria Mendoza with J & J Farms. The local farm has been a part of the TCFM since it returned to Turlock in 2009.
Along with the dozens of returning vendors, this year the market will also include a new organic farm, Guzman and Sons Produce out of Atwater, along with vendors offering precut and packaged chicken and reclaimed and refinished furniture.
Opening day will feature performances from local band Red Pony, and activities for the kids. Griffin said there will be a face painter, balloon twister, kids craft booth and story time tent on Saturday.
The popular kids train will be at the fair the following week, on April 29.
The TCFM will open at 8 a.m. Saturday. Parking for the market is located in the west lot off of Soderquist Road. For more information about the market, visit turlockmarket.org.
Return of downtown night market coming May 4
Downtown Turlock has seen a lot of changes regarding a farmers market over the past few years. A market returned to the downtown area after a hiatus eight years ago, taking up a few blocks on S. Broadway and operating on Friday mornings. That market, operated by the volunteer organization, Turlock Certified Farmers Market, soon expanded to include most of Broadway Avenue, and then moved to East Main Street and Saturdays.
Last year under new for-profit operator Golden State Farmers Market Association, the downtown market moved from East Main Street to Central Park.
This year, the downtown market will remain at its Central Park location but is moving to Thursday nights — a time that many Turlockers remember from downtown markets held over a decade ago.
Local jewelry maker Valeria Jimenez is managing and promoting the new night market and she’s excited to be offering visitors another reason to visit Turlock downtown area on Thursdays.
“Things are coming together really, really well…. I’ve been pleasantly surprise by how positive everybody’s been,” said Jimenez.
She said the downtown market has about 30 vendors, all from a 20 to 30-mile radius. Those vendors include Alldrin Almonds, Annabella’s Olive Oil, Golden Comb Honey, Frost Bakery, Hummus Heaven, Shelby’s Dog Treats and Whiskfully Sweet, to name a few.
Jimenez said that a lot of downtown businesses will also be staying open later on Thursday nights in conjunction with the market. A special wristband will be offered to market customers who will be able to receive discounts at local stores.
Opening night of the market will include activities for kids and a live performance by local band The Nines.
The Central Park Evening Market will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursdays through Sept. 28. The park is located on the corner of Main Street and Golden State Boulevard in Turlock. For more information, visit centralparkmarketturlock.com.