PITTSTON — Fresh fruits and vegetables will be plentiful as the 33rd Annual Pittston Farmers Market makes its return.
The weekly event opens at 10 a.m. every Tuesday from July 5 until Nov. 22 in the Lower Tomato Festival Lot.
The market brings in vendors from all over the area to sell their harvests as well as other organic and healthy foods such as fresh eggs, pork, chicken, beef, sauces, baked goods, jams and more.
Returning vendors include Rowland’s Greenhouse, No Bull Ranch, Conifer Corners, Beta Bread Bakery, Jubilee Balloons, Paul’s Plum and others.
Market coordinator Mary Angelella considers longtime participants Golomb’s Farms & Greenhouses, Dymond’s Farm and Brace’s Orchard the heavyweights of the event.
“They’re the anchors I think, because they’re the biggest vendors,” she said. “They have the most variety and people know them. These are family names that local people know.”
New vendors include the following:
• Purple Squirrel Pastry Company from Pittston, which offers dessert foods such as cookies and brownies.
• Grovedale Winery & Vineyards from Wyalusing, which makes wine.
• Dancing Hen Farm from Stillwater, which supplies organic eggs, chicken and vegetables.
• Damien’s Devilish Sauces from Scranton, which makes spice mixtures, barbecue sauce, Alfredo sauce and tomato sauce.
• Gypsies R Us, operated by Rainy Boyle of Pittston and Serena Kozokas of Plymouth Township, sells handmade items such as knitted water bottle covers, reusable bags, jewelry, and tie dyed clothing.
“It’s always nice for the market to have variety so that people will come back,” Angelella said of the new vendors. “I think there’s a bigger interest in people purchasing homemade items that are more regional. The wine is way different; that might bring in new customers.”
Also returning this year is the Children’s Day on July 26 during which youngsters will play instruments and sing with Mary Baker from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Jubilee Balloons will offer free balloon sculptures from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. that day, and the Friends of the Pittston Memorial Library will offer a free book and sell raffle tickets for a back-to-school basket filled with school supplies, a back pack and gift certificates.
CEO Weinberg Northeast Regional Food Bank will host free face painting, planting and snacks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for kids, as well.
A new addition for the children is a half-hour story time from 10:30 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Aug. 9 with Pittston Memorial Library Children’s Librarian Kristin Boettger.
The first several weeks of the market she said are busy, but around the Labor Day holiday attendance starts to dwindle as autumn rolls in.
“I think it’s because the kids go back to school and a lot of parents go back to work,” said Angelella.
As fall begins, produce will change to seasonal items like apples, pumpkins, squash, acorns and pears.
To help keep the Pittston Farmers Market in everyone’s minds after Labor Day, Angelella will have a banner hanging above Main Street, similar to those hung for other city events.
“The street is so busy with traffic that people going, even if it’s at night time, they’ll see it and can spread the word,” she said.
With the event only a few days away, Angelella is looking forward to seeing the big crowds and the fresh produce go to good use.
“It’s a good feeling for me to see people walking down Main Street with bags of produce knowing that they are helping the local farmers,” she said.
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher