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Redmond Saturday Market's 37th season starts Saturday with new vendors, entertainment and management
Let the market mania begin.
The Redmond Saturday Market, the oldest-running market on the Eastside, returns for its 37th season this Saturday at the corner of Leary Way Northeast and Bear Creek Parkway with many new vendors and entertainers and even a new management team.
This season there will be 125 vendors — 18 new ones — peddling a variety of wares, including produce, plants, photography, flowers, food, jewelry, wine, arts, crafts and more.
"Other than a car and shot of whiskey you can buy anything you want at the Saturday Market," said Martha Tyler, who served as market manager the previous three years and is now the volunteer market coordinator. "We have it all."
And as always, there will be the market's other big draw: mixing and mingling with friends and neighbors.
The market's opening day festivities kick off at 9 a.m. with a ribbon-cutting ceremony by Mayor John Marchione and a performance by the Redmond High School band. Representatives from the Redmond Fire Department will also be on hand for the ribbon-cutting. Then from noon-2 p.m., Swamp Soul will entertain the crowd with some of its lively cajun dance music. In addition, those furry friends from the Heart of Dreams Alpacas will be present all day along with the Redmond Historical Society.
"The market is an important part of Redmond's history and identity," said Marchione. "Farming and trade were part of Redmond's roots 100 years ago and it lives on today in our market."
All of the food and items sold at the pet- and kid-friendly market are grown or made in Washington, a requirement since the market was opened in 1976.
New to the market this year will be concessioner Veraci Pizza, which has a store front in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.
Other new vendors will be selling pet treats and beds, wood products, bird houses and feeders, purses, glass art, pottery, steel garden art, oil paintings, nursery plants and cheese and eggs, according to Nicole Package, the market's new director.
Package is part of a new market management team, helped formed by Tyler and her husband Jim, who served as the market president the previous three years.
"We have left the market in beautiful shape and now we can pass it on to those with enthusiasm and drive to work within this community and continue to grow it," Martha said.
Pete Godwin, a concrete garden and home art vendor at the market for the past 16 years and the market's new president, said the Redmond Saturday Market connects the community in so many ways in addition to being a great launching pad for up-and-coming new businesses.
"It's a lot of fun to get out there in the fresh air," said Godwin, owner of Forest Green Enterprises. "The vendors are awesome. You build great relationships with the other vendors and the customers are fun. It's like a big family."
In addition to vendors, the Saturday Market features live music every week from noon-2 p.m. on the main stage. This season will also feature several cooking demonstrations, pet adoption opportunities, story times for the kids and a wood-working demonstration by Dick Watson.
There will also be theme days, such as Hawaiian Day on July 21 and Cowboy Day on Sept. 8. Some of the more popular market dates include the Redmond Zucchini 500 on Aug. 4, when kids build cars out of fresh vegetables and race them for prizes and the Howl-o-Ween Pet Parade, a pet costume parade on the market's final day, Oct. 27.
"There's always a big crowd at the Saturday Market," Package said. "It has a nice variety of products, produce and food you can't get anywhere else."
For a complete schedule of events and entertainers and a list of vendors, visit the market's new website at redmondsaturdaymarket.org.
REDMOND SATURDAY MARKET AT A GLANCE
• WHEN: Every Saturday through Oct. 27 from 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
• WHERE: Corner of Leary Way and Bear Creek Parkway at 7730 Leary Way N.E.
• WHO: A total of 125 vendors, selling a variety of items, including fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers, arts and crafts and more. There are an average of 85-95 vendors each Saturday.
NEW MANAGEMENT TEAM
• Nicole Package, Market Director: This will be Package's fourth year with the market. She began as a vendor, served on the Saturday Market board and is now doing important work behind the scenes. Her duties include directing market business, coordinating events and entertainment and overall management of the market.
• Chelsea Johansen, Market Coordinator: Johansen has been a vendor and an active volunteer the last three years. Her duties include organizing vendor-related affairs and managing vendor communications.
• James Ponder, Saturday Operations Manager: He will be the face and the go-to guy for the market come showtime on Saturdays.
• Martha Tyler, Volunteer Market Coordinator: A longtime vendor and former market manager, Tyler is now volunteering her time to manage the market's community and charity booths along with many other duties.