A steady stream of shoppers stopped at the various tables displaying local produce at the recent grand opening of the Main Street Farmers’ Market in Dumas.
“It’s been a long time coming,” says Jann Farmer, Main Street Dumas executive director and Farmers’ Market organizer. Main Street Dumas is responsible for the construction of the new market.
At least six vendors made their way to 100 E. Farmer St., and organizers were pleased. Local produce included red and pink Bradley tomatoes, onions, yellow squash, cabbage and cucumbers, and baked goods like raisin tarts and homemade jams.
The Daughters of Charity did a healthy cooking demonstration, using much of the produce available at the market, and the Desha County 4-H passed freebies to the kids.
In addition to the 100-plus shoppers, Highway Commissioner Robert Moore of Arkansas City and Desha County Judge Roy Rogers attended the dedication.
Producers Howard Perrien and George Rawson say they feel right at home at the new market.
Farmer says they’re just getting started and hopes the market will attract other nearby farmers, like Chester Esau’s Arkansas famous sweet corn and the Carpenters, a local farm family who participates in other farmers’ markets in Pine Bluff and Little Rock
For shoppers Romana Weatherford and Paula White, Main Street Dumas board member, the new market is convenient and attractive. Plus, the breeze created by the pavilion’s layout adds a real positive to the shopping experience, especially during the hot summer months.
Farmer says, “It’s nice. There’s always a breeze blowing.”
The market is located near the town’s now busy Main Street and offers plenty of customer parking. The pavilion-like structure can accommodate other activities such as their Meal at the Market fundraiser, family reunions and barbecue or catfish cookoffs.
Dumas Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sammye Owen says, “This is great and we hope the farmers will do well here for a long time to come.”
Sponsors of the event included Main Street Dumas, the Desha Hometown Health Improvement Project and the Foundation for the Mid-South.