The Grove City Area Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market is marking its 30th year in 2019.

The market season will start Saturday, May 18, and will be held from 8 a.m. to noon each Saturday through Sept. 7 in the Town Center.

Several vendors have been signed up to participate in both the spring market, which will run through June 22, and the summer market, which begins June 29, said Marilyn Reiner, events manager for the chamber.

"The spring market is a bit smaller than the summer market because it features people with early season produce," she said. "We'll have more than 45 vendors at our summer market."

Veteran and new vendors will be featured throughout the summer, said Shawn Conrad, the chamber's executive director.

"One of the reasons that our farmers market has been so successful is the variety of vendors we have each year," she said.

"You can get so much more than just fruits and vegetables at our market," Reiner said.

Vendors will offer sauces, tamales, jams and jellies, coffee and tea, local honey, chicken, pork, beef, plants and flowers, fresh baked goods, natural skin-care products, mustard and homemade dog treats, she said.

"You can get a good portion of your shopping done each week at the market," Conrad said.

The chamber initiated the farmers market three decades ago as a way to draw more people to Grove City's downtown area, Reiner said.

Now, the Town Center is a draw for both vendors and customers, she said.

"It's really the perfect setting, where people come and sit on the benches and spend some time talking and meeting their neighbors," Reiner said.

"The whole ambiance of the Town Center, with the flowers, the foliage, the trees and the cobblestones, gives the whole feel of an old-town farmers market," Conrad said.

Many stores in the Town Center are open during the market and add another component to the event, she said.

"A lot of people like to stop by some of the stores while they're visiting the market, and the store owners are always pleased to see them," Conrad said.

The market again will feature cooking demonstrations each week, hosted by a local chef or cook, Conrad said.

"It's always a fun part of the market," she said. "We give them some spending money, and they go around to the vendors (and) then come up with three dishes they'll prepare on the spot with ingredients they bought at the market.

"They'll prepare the dishes and pass out samples to visitors," Conrad said. "It's all about learning how you can incorporate fresh, wholesome ingredients in the meals you prepare at home."

Later in the summer, Grove City police Chief Rick Butsko and Jackson Township fire Chief Randy Little will compete in the annual Police/Fire Chief Challenge.

"It's a cook-off between the two chiefs where they use ingredients they get from the vendors," Reiner said. "It's a fun, friendly competition."

The Chamber Foundation will hold a raffle for a prize most weeks of the market, Conrad said.

On a date to be determined, visitors will be invited to bring school supplies to fill backpacks that will be distributed to students in the South-Western City School District, she said.

A list of suggested items will be posted ahead of the collection day, Conrad said.

More information about the farmers market is available at gcchamber.org.

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