City, events company plan farmers market at Sayre Park
March 20, 2017
While Glenwood's Downtown Market is taking a hiatus this summer, a new farmers market is filling the gap at the same times on Tuesdays.
Instead of being in downtown, Glenwood Market, which will be run by Roaring Fork Events under contract with the city, will be in Sayre Park. The event will still run from 4-8 p.m. on Tuesdays starting in June.
Running from June 13 to Sept. 5, the Glenwood Market will also be about three weeks shorter than the Downtown Market operated.
However, Cindy Svatos, a Downtown Market founder and board member, stressed Monday that this new market is not in any way associated with nor is it replacing the Downtown Market. Svatos said she was certain that the Downtown Market will be back next summer.
While the Downtown Market, too, could have moved to Sayre Park, its board decided against it in an attempt to stay truly a "downtown event," she said. "We were even wary of using Axtell Park" at 11th Street and Grand Avenue, two blocks south of the usual Centennial Park location. "It's even in our mission statement that we're a downtown event."
Svatos added that the Downtown Market has been given assurances that it could move to Seventh Street during summers after the new Grand Avenue bridge is completed.
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The Downtown Market's attempt to move to Axtell Park fell through due to resistance from neighbors. At that point, it seemed Glenwood would have to forgo its traditional Tuesday summer market.
City Manager Debra Figueroa signed a grant application Friday that's been forwarded to the city’s Financial Advisory Board seeking $10,000 in discretionary funds and $10,000 in tourism money to help operate the market, whose total cost, the document says, will be slightly more than $44,000.
The grant application, which if approved by the advisory board will go to the City Council, took operators of the established market by surprise based on an email sent Monday evening to the Post Independent. "I am so heartbroken and backstabbed," read the subject line of the email from "market downtown." It included the grant application as an attachment and asked, "What is going on?"
The application said that "many members of the community displayed a strong disappointment" at the news of a hiatus.
"With this development, the City of Glenwood Springs and community events organizers of Roaring Fork Events came together to do what was necessary to keep this iconic event alive." The document says the new market will seek to "increase attendance and attempt to develop a deeper sense of community with this weekly event."
Roaring Fork Events, a year-old company that held its inaugural Wild West Fermentation Fest last summer, touted the new market on its website Monday.
"We are very proud to continue the Glenwood Springs Tuesday Night Farmers Market," the site says. "We believe that the market is invaluable for the people of Glenwood and the surrounding community. Roaring Fork Events with the help and support of the City of Glenwood Springs, has the interest and well-being of our community at heart and plan to continue serving the community."
Damon Arredondo, a co-owner of Roaring Fork Events, said, "Continuing this market is just the right thing to do."
"We saw it as a vital part of the community, with all the excitement of the summer, and wanted to keep it alive," said Emily Arredondo. "We got started as soon as we saw the article about the Downtown Market taking a break."
While the market will be run by a different organization, Roaring Fork Events is reaching out to the same vendors who were staples at the Downtown Market, Emily Arredondo said.
Svatos said she wished the Arredondos well, but said she did not know how they were reaching out to the same vendors, because she declined to share the Downtown Market's vendor list with them.
"It took us 14 years to get this figured out. We're not done," said Svatos, whose group has struggled in recent years to attract board members.
The new market will feature live music, and Emily Arredondo was confident the event will be able to pull off a beer garden in partnership with local nonprofits.
"We've already gotten a lot of volunteer support," Emily Arredondo said.
Whether Roaring Fork Events continues the market in Sayre Park beyond this year will depend on whether Downtown Market comes back from its summer break, she said.
Glenwood Market is accepting vendor applications now, and the event is looking for volunteers. For information, visit roaringforkevents.com/the-glenwood-market.