DALLAS -- For those of you who are dreading the end of the Polk County Bounty Market season this Thursday, fear not.
Encouraged by success during its inaugural season, the market is adding five more weeks to its first-year schedule and now will run through Thursday, Sept. 30.
Market Manager Bonnie Dreier said 20 vendors have committed to attending through the remainder of the season -- and more are still calling about setting up a booth.
"I anticipate staying full," she said about the 25-vendor capacity.
Dreier said when approached about participating originally, some vendors commented that the market will end before later season crops are ripe.
With five more weeks, that provides ample opportunity for more local produce to hit the stands.
"Everybody is stoked -- so excited," Dreier said.
Dreier said a mid-season survey indicated strong support for adding more market days and Polk County Commissioners approved use of the courthouse lawn area allowing the season extension.
Attendance so far has varied week-to-week, mostly depending on weather conditions, Dreier said. Customer counts ranged from 133 on the least attended market on the second week of the season to 591 customers on the heaviest day.
"I'm just elated with how well it's gone," Dreier said.
Success in 2010 is encouraging market managers to plan for 2011 and beyond.
Dreier said the market is in the process of applying for a Farmers Market Promotion Program grant through the United States Department of Agriculture, which will help make improvements in the 2011-12 seasons.
Dreier said she is impressed with and grateful for the support the community and volunteers have given the market in its debut season.
"It's a huge success," Dreier said. "We have a great group of vendors. I couldn't be happier."
Polk County Bounty Market.
3 to 7 p.m. every Thursday now through Sept. 30.
Polk County Courthouse lawn, 850 Main St., downtown Dallas.
For more information:
Bonnie Dreier, Dallas Area Visitors Association, 503-623-2564; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org; www.dallasoregon.org/davc.