Burlington Farmers Market opens for season in new location

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BURLINGTON, Vt. It's a sign of warmer weather approaching; farmers market season begins. Saturday was the first day of the Burlington Farmers Market in its new location on Pine Street.

Fresh produce, baked goods, and homemade crafts, are just a small part of what you might see at the Burlington Farmers Market

"I got the mushrooms, always get the mushrooms. Already got the Tibetan food," said Keli Brown of Burlington.

Brown makes the Burlington Farmers Market part of her weekend routine.

"We spend hours here usually on a Saturday morning," she said.

For almost 40 years the Burlington Farmers Market was held at Burlington's City Hall park. Just a short walk for tourists visiting Church Street.

Brown says she's concerned the market's move to Pine Street, will bring less foot traffic and could be costly for local vendors.

"It's a destination, rather than happening upon it," Brown said.

Executive Director of the Burlington Farmers Market Chris Wagner says the move is good, and only temporary.

"This is definitely Burlington's kick-off to summer," Wagner said. "I'll be the first to admit that city hall park was never designed for 93 vendors."

But parking appeared to be an issue on Saturday. An already congested Pine Street, will now be backed up with even more traffic. Wagner says there are designated parking areas along the road and other easy ways to get to the market.

"It's just a 7 minute walk from City Hall Park, there are designated crosswalks, we are on a bus route." Wagner said.

For now, Wagner believes the local businesses will benefit from the move.

"Being here, vendors can spread out a little more they can expand what they are bringing and offering." he said.

But what do the vendors think? WCAX News spoke with some who say more space, means more business.

"I don't feel concerned. I feel the word of mouth is going to happen automatically," Chris Conn of the Farmhouse Kitchen said.

"We are going to work out the kinks at the market, but I think it has a lot of potential," said Jane Pomykala of Pomykala Farm.

Brown had no problem coming to new space and has high hopes the change.

"All the vendors seem pumped and they have a little more room so I think its going to be great," she said.

Organizers say the Burlington Farmers Market will return to City Hall Park when the construction is completed.