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Signs of spring: Kingsport Farmers Market opens 2014 season

April 2nd, 2014 1:08 pm by Nick Shepherd

Signs of spring: Kingsport Farmers Market opens 2014 season

Jerry and Shirley Whitt, of Rogersville, set up their produce at the Kingsport Farmer's Market on Wednesday. Photos and video by David Grace.

Wednesday marked the first day of the 2014 season for the Kingsport Farmers Market. 

A warm, sunny day greeted the patrons who made the trip to downtown Kingsport for the opening day. 

"For opening day, it is beautiful," said Jim Lafollette, president and marketing manager of the Kingsport Farmers Market. "We've not had this in a couple of years, so it has really turned out nice today. This kind of weather gets a lot of people putting stuff out in the fields and growing things. This is going to be a good year for our Farmers Market."

There were only around three vendors at the market on Wednesday. Turnout was also low for the first day, but Sherrell Parlier, a veteran vendor at the Farmers Market, said that was to be expected. 

"To start with, it's always very slow," he said. "But you've got to start sometime or another to build up. Our Saturdays will be even better, but Wednesdays early in the year and late in the year, there's just not too much."

Parlier sells farm fresh beef, chicken and pork. He said the reason Wednesdays are slow is because a lot of people are at work. When people are off on Saturday, they tend to go by the Farmers Market, he said. 

The Farmers Market will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays through November and on Saturdays in December. The hours will be from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. It is located  on the corner of West Center Street and Clinchfield Street. 

There are a few special events planned for this year, starting with a craft show on Saturday from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. The Humane Society will be setting up a display some days, and some days there will be music. 

Lafollette said they will be bringing in new vendors. Overall, he expects it to be a good year. 

"This year I think we'll probably have one of the better markets," he said. "We've been voted number one farmers market in East Tennessee for two years by the Tennessee magazine. We're proud of that."

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