Farmers Market kicks off season

Normally, heat and rain help things grow this time of year.

But organizers of the Farmers Market of Hope hope for little of either as they kick off a new season of monthly first Friday gatherings — ones they hope will grow — from 5 to 8 p.m. this weekend on the historic Hope Town Square.

“We had our ups and downs last year especially because of the weather,” said Hope resident Michael Dean, who coordinates entertainment for the free events.

The markets generally are conducted rain or shine, except in cases of severe storms.

Diane Burton, who chairs the gatherings, said most markers last summer drew about 100 people each. Friday’s opener will feature about 15 vendors selling produce, meat, flowers, ready-to-eat food and other items.

Plus, nearby Flat Rock resident Mark Gravely and the Top Hat Blues Revue, a favorite at several recent Hope Heritage Days, Hope Ride benefits and a host of Columbus events, will perform on the bandstand.

“He’s very, very familiar with Hope,” Dean said.

This Friday’s event also will include car and tractor cruise-ins. The last such promotion in September attracted about 25 cars and seven tractors, Burton said.

“This time, we made sure to get in touch with the (area) car clubs,” Burton said. “So we’re hoping for another very good turnout.”

This marks the third year for the resurrected market, which runs through Oct. 6, just in time for pumpkins, Burton said.

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Brian Blair is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at or 812-379-5672.