Hamilton’s Historic Farmer’s Market is planning several new features to draw even more people to the family-friendly attraction as it turns 180 years old. STAFF FILE PHOTO

Hamilton farmer’s market celebrates 180th anniversary with new features

The family-friendly market will open this year on Saturday, May 6, its earliest start ever, according to Cheryl Dole, of Hamilton, who started as market manager in 2016. The market runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. each Saturday through and including Sept. 30.

An earlier start helps the market take advantage of early flower and plant sales in spring while avoiding possible inclement weather in early fall, Dole said.

Located at 101 High St., the market draws people from not only across the city and Butler County, but also from across the region, she said.

“It serves all the farmers in the local area and people look forward to the produce each year,” Dole said. “It also brings people to downtown Hamilton, builds up the community aspect of it. We also promote the other businesses and they support us. It branched out from just produce to being a big part of the community.”

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Several different items are new to this year’s market, including more produce vendors, a booth to promote local businesses and another to feature community non-profit civic organizations such as YWCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts.

Live entertainment, already a part of the market, will increase with more performers strolling the grounds around the Historic Butler County Courthouse to play for marketgoers.

The market also will add coloring contests for young children, plus raffle drawings for Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day in addition to its weekly raffle. The Memorial Day Raffle will include items from most of the market’s vendors, including gift certificates.

Even though the market is a 180-year-old tradition all its own, Dole said it is important to add new features to it.

“Each year, adding new things brings more people in, brings more vendors in and builds more excitement,” she said. “We’re always trying to grow and bring more people into the city center to build community and to carry on that tradition.”

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Returning to the market is Market Buddies, which features children’s activities like painting, planting, tie-dye and making cotton candy. Also returning will be yoga, a guest chef booth and the weekly raffle.

As of Wednesday, there were 36 vendors signed up for 45 booths for this season with some vendors using double booths, Dole said. Seven booths remain. Also available are floater booths for vendors who cannot attend regularly or just want to “try out” the market.

“The fee for that goes to their application if they decide to remain a vendor,” she said.

The market has historically been and remains a “Make it, Bake it or Grow it” market, Dole said.

“So many places are getting more vendor oriented in terms of retail-type vendors, and we prefer to keep it like it was throughout its history,” she said.

Sponsors and donations are the sole means of support for Hamilton’s Historic Farmer’s Market. New sponsors may contact sponsorship coordinator Doug Dole at dougdole@yahoo.com.

For more information about Hamilton’s Historic Farmer’s Market, email hhfm2015@gmail.com or visit www.facebook.com/hamiltonshistoricfarmersmarket.

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