Farmers Market to return

Published 12:00 am Monday, April 29, 2024

Celebrates 12 years of selling local

The Ironton Farmers Market returns next Friday.

It will take place 7 a.m.–3 p.m. every Friday and Saturday until the end of October.

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This is the 12th year for the market.

Sam Heighton, the executive director of Ironton aLive and the market manager, said he didn’t know if the market was going to be a success when it started. At the time, he was just a member of Ironton aLive and when nobody else seemed to want the job, he became the market manager.

“I didn’t know what I was getting into,” he said. “But it has turned into a great thing and we have one of the better markets around, I believe.”

The first meeting attracted just five vendors and four are still selling products at the market. The other vendor has retired from farming.

The Ironton Farmers Market prefers to have as much of the product to be local as possible. Heighton said that at the beginning of the market season, there is produce from southern states that are already have crops ready, but as the summer growing season hits the Tri-State much of the produce is local and is marked as such.

“The vendors have put a sign on their table saying the product is either homegrown, locally grown or out of area,” Heighton said.

Homegrown means it was grown in Lawrence County, locally grown means it was grown in the counties that border Lawrence County including Kentucky counties or out of area which means it was grown in the U.S. in states like North Carolina or Florida.

Heighton thinks it is the vendors that draw people to Ironton Farmers Market year after year.

“They’re like a big family, they work together. We have a friendly atmosphere and people like to come, take in the atmosphere and buy a few things,” he said. “The market is a place people relate to and we get a lot of people from out of town.”

He said he will be in other towns and people will say something about a market and “they won’t say Ironton, They’ll say farmers market. I will ask them which one they mean and it is our market.”

Heighton said he is working on Ironton aLive’s other big project, the Summer Concert Series.

“I’m working on getting sponsorships now and it will start on the first Tuesday in June,” he said. “It will be 12 shows again and we hope to have a good season again. People love their concerts.”

The Ironton Farmers Market is located at Market Square on Second Street in downtown Ironton and is a project of Ironton aLive.

Vendors interested in setting up at the Ironton Farmers Market can call Heighton at 740-533-7951.