Fresh produce and plenty of other edibles will occupy the historic Town Center on Saturday mornings beginning July 5.

Fresh produce and plenty of other edibles will occupy the historic Town Center on Saturday mornings beginning July 5.

Farmers Market 2008, presented by the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce, will run for 11 Saturdays, concluding on Sept. 13.

The hours will be 8 a.m. to noon, according to William Diehl, the chamber's executive director.

All the familiar old favorites will be back once again this year, Diehl said, which means lots of fruits and vegetables, cut flowers, honey and home-baked breads, pies and cakes, not to mention fresh bison meat courtesy of local buffalo rancher Robert Sexten.

This marks the 29th year for the local Farmers Market, according to Diehl.

"It's slightly bigger this year," he said.

Chamber officials are hoping people going on "staycations" because of high gas prices and an uncertain economy will start off their Saturdays with a visit to the Town Center for the Farmers Market, Diehl said.

Once the initial Saturday is out of the way, the executive director said that something new will be added this year to the very familiar.

A "Family Fun Day" is being planned for July 12, with lots of activities designed for children and their parents.

"The Amazing Grove City Race," sponsored by Parks and Recreation, will take place from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., according to Diehl. A "Baby Expo" is scheduled to take place in front of City Hall. That will entail a children's clothing exchange, Diehl said. A petting zoo with llamas and other animals will be on hand, along with demonstrations from local Boy Scout Troops. The Goddard School will be offering face painting and crafts. Jackson Township Fire Department personnel will put on safety demonstrations, officers from the Grove City Division of Police D.A.R.E. program will be on hand and thespians from Little Theatre Off Broadway, in costumes for the upcoming production of "Pirates of Penzance" will mingle with the crowd.

In addition, Grove City Rotary Club members will be displaying antique cars, representatives of the Crosslink Community Church will offer "make and take art" projects, Party Boutique will have children in costumes and a balloon animal artist is being lined up, according to Diehl.

A dunk tank, sponsored by Your Neighborhood Realty, will help raise funds for the Grove City Food Bank.

"The Pantry needs more help than ever, now," Diehl said.

The "dunkee" has yet to be determined, according to Diehl.

"We've put some feelers out," he said.

The Family Fun Day concept started out small, but is growing bigger and bigger.

"This is sort of mushrooming," Diehl said. "There will be more things to add, I'm sure, by the time the 12th rolls around."

If the July 12 event goes over well, the chamber official indicated the final Farmers Market on Sept. 13 might feature a "Back to School Finale

The familiar concept of inviting the rural into the urban dates back to July 1934, according to the Web site farmersmarketla.com, which claims to be the original one.

Los Angeles businessman Roger Dahlhjelm, and Fred Beck, an advertising copywriter, asked the owners of the former Gilmore dairy farm at Third and Fairfax if they could invite local farmers to park trucks on vacant Gilmore land to sell fresh produce to local shoppers

"Eighteen farmers responded to the opportunity to sell their fresh produce, some in reply to advertisements aired on KNX radio; each farmer paid 50 cents rent to park their trucks on the property," according to the site.

The members of the Community Club will be taking part again this year in the Farmer Market hosted by the Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce.

The first of 11 consecutive Saturdays for the market in Town Center will be July 5.

"It has been confirmed with the chamber office that the ladies╩of the Community Club will be once again stationed╩on the southeast corner of Park Street and Broadway, directly across from Plank's, on the library side of╩the street," according to a spokeswoman.

This project is being chaired this year╩by╩Barbara Hollingshead, and will feature ╩a╩wide selection of homemade pies, cakes, cookies, breads╩and other baked goods.

A selection of ╩sugar-free baked items and other╩goods will also be╩for sell.

"The club will also have available for sale their famous homemade noodles at $4 a bag and the club's famous homemade chicken salad, which will be available in both small and large portions," the spokeswoman added.

The small containers will cost $4 while the larger ones sell for $8.

Customers wishing to request special homemade baked items or larger portions of chicken salad and/or noodles, can call the event chairwoman Barbara Hollingshead at 875-7017.