Appetizers
August 30, 2006
First Friday, Last Market

People who have come to enjoy the Friday night farmers market in Grass Valley - and generally there are 7,000 to 10,000 of them - will discover that this Friday's gathering will be the last of them, both for the season and forever, reports manager Ray Diggins.

Next year, the seasonal market moves to Thursday evenings, and the season will be longer, starting the week of Memorial Day instead of early July, which has been the custom. It will continue to run to around Labor Day.

"The event has grown so much we can hardly walk around anymore," says Diggins in explaining the changes. Since the market started 11 years ago, Grass Valley generally and the Friday night gathering specifically have grown tremendously, and something needed to be done to relieve the pressure on downtown traffic congestion and parking. In addition to the farmers market, downtown merchants have stayed open later, concerts have been held, and specialty-food and crafts vendors have joined growers in building the Friday night audience.

Next year, concerts will join the farmers market on Thursday nights, but Fridays still are expected to be popular thanks to other promotions, a film series and a performing-arts center downtown, says Diggins.

This Friday's farewell farmers market will be 6-9 p.m. at the usual spot, Main and Mill streets. The band Clan Dyken is to headline the party.

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