Town’s weekly farmers’ market wont return in 2014

After having some difficulty finding vendors to sign-up and stay involved in the summer-long farmers’ market hosted by the town, residents will not see the usual market return to downtown Pineville this year.

But that doesn’t mean some farmers and other vendors won’t have a chance to sell their products to locals. Two vendors from the previous market will still set up shop in the parking lot beside the railroad tracks on Main Street on Saturday mornings, Pineville Parks and Recreation Director Kristy Detwiler said.

One vendor is a local farmer, with the other selling jarred pickled products.

The Pineville Downtown Merchants’ Association also will host Crops and Shops, a festival on May 17, a Saturday, in downtown Pineville, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. A multitude of vendors will set up along Main Street, with a large tent sale hosted by Luna and a farmers’ market also taking place during the free event. There also will be live music, food trucks, a gallery crawl at locations including the Civic and Culture Arts Center of Pineville and more.

Association representative Bill McConnell said the group would like to see the town’s traditional farmers’ market continue in future years, but for now it’s not a viable option, something he attributes to the location of the market.

“It never really quite took off (after it moved off of Main Street)… it didn’t have the same visibility and it was hard to attract farmers to come there on a consistent basis,” McConnell said. “We are trying to find a way to make the farmers’ market work, but right now all we can do is (the festival).”

But the farmers’ market isn’t going to be the main draw of this year’s festival. The tent sale, which will take place in a 2,400-square-foot tent on the corner of Main Street and Johnston Drive, is often the main draw for people attending. Last year, McConnell said, women were finding any room they could to try on merchandise due to the overwhelming lines at the dressing rooms. Luna, a high-end women’s clothing store, will host sales on various merchandise during the event.

“They usually draw about 1,000 people to that event,” he added. “… The first year they had that tent sale … they got overwhelmed in the first hour. Women were literally taking their clothes off in the yard and trying on clothes. It was crazy.”

Pineville attempted to revamp the farmers’ market last year with the addition of the community yard sale and some entertainment, but still had difficulty securing long-term vendors for the whole summer. This year the community yard sale will once again be its own event on May 10, a Saturday, from 7 a.m. to noon at Pineville’s Lake Park, 1000 Johnston Drive. The town also will continue hosting it’s Rockin’ and Reelin’ movie and concert series this summer at the Belle Johnston Community Center and Lake Park.

“I think it was (the lack of) vendor participation, there just wasn’t enough vendors that were steady all summer long,” Detwiler said regarding the reoccurring market’s possible return. “In the future, maybe if the population grows, we can hopefully try it again.”


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