Redmond Saturday Market takes on a tropical theme with Hawaiian Day
By JOSHUA CHIN
Redmond Reporter Contributor
July 25, 2012 · Updated 10:25 AM
Regardless of weather, when Hawaiian Day comes around each year, Redmond starts feeling like summer.
Last Saturday, the Redmond Saturday Market celebrated the tropical theme with fresh foods and hula dancers.
True to the season, the stands were bursting with vibrant colors and flowers.
Sharon Goodman, vendor of a winery booth, compared the Saturday market to older outdoor fairs and festivals.
"Back in the '60s this (would have been like) Woodstock," she said.
"This is actually my first year decorating, so I just want to get into the spirit of the Hawaiian Day this time," she added.
Local baker Rebecca Johnson set up her booth with grass skirts and rows of lei. The outcome was a structure similar to a tepee.
"I think about Hawaii a lot during the winter — it gets me through these dark, rainy days," said Johnson. "So once a year I get pretty excited when Hawaiian theme happens."
She also mixed banana, coconut and pineapple into her baked goods to further fit the occasion.
"It's like taking traditional recipes and giving them a tropic twist," Johnson said.
The idea for the Hawaiian theme came from Jim Hoagland, a previous market president, and Martha Tyler, a previous market manager. It was a direct result of their love for Hawaiian music and culture and it ended up becoming a tradition, according to Redmond Saturday Market director Nicole Package.
"Many vendors say it is their favorite day," Package said. "All the great energy, music and participation bring a general warm feeling for everyone."
Besides the booth makeovers, there was music to entertain the shoppers. Performers from the Melelani Hula Studio danced to island music dressed in hula skirts. Later, the Elias Ka'uhane Band joined the group with Hawaiian songs accompanied by ukuleles.
"It is the fifth year we've done this," said Laura Melelani Bergstrom, instructor of the hula studio. "It is open air, a community event — the market and all is fabulous. Just having the atmosphere and ambiance is a lot like being in Hawaii."
The pace of the audience was also remarkable. Some busily strode through the market, while others moseyed by the booths for food samples. Jams, fruits and organic vegetables were favorites.
Many however, took time to enjoy the performance on the lawn with a family picnic.
"We enjoy the entertainment, the music and we usually eat lunch here on Saturday," said Matthew Crismalc of Redmond. "This is just a great place for kids to get out and enjoy some outside activities."
This year, prizes were awarded for best booth display. Johnson's Wildflour Gluten-Free Bakery took second place with her tepee hut. Pete Godwin of Forest Green Enterprises, which specializes in concrete art, took first. Godwin, the Saturday Market board president, was the only man wearing a grass skirt, according to Package.
The market is located on the western edge of Redmond Town Center and is open every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. through Oct. 27.
The market's next themed day – Aug. 4 — will focus on the Zucchini 500. Children will have the opportunity to build cars out of fresh veggies and race them down a track.
For more information, visit redmondsaturdaymarket.org.
Joshua Chin is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory.