MINT HILL, NC – Two weeks before the official opening of the Mint Hill Farmer’s Market, dozens of vendors came to the Carl J. McEwen Historical Village for the Spring Craft Show in the Village. Inclement weather threatened the success of the event as vendors set up in the rain on Saturday, April 22, but the skies were blue and sunny when the Craft Show opened at 10:00 am.
The event welcomed both new and veteran vendors to the Historic Village. Stationed near the back entrance to the market was Indian Trail author and new vendor Shameeka Gray McAllister, who writes inspirational children’s books about growing up, choosing a career and finding one’s place in the world. Pastry Chef Carly Stump of Carly Cakes is no stranger to the Historic Village, having sold at the farmer’s market for several years. Her brownies, cookies and cakes in unusual flavors like lavender and honey or chocolate and rosewater are perpetual favorites of market-goers.
The event was similar to the Autumn Jubilee and Christmas in the Village, two other seasonal marketplaces that have become quite popular at the Historic Village in the past couple of years. “It’s the same concept, but this one will fund some of the kid-friendly programs we have planned at the Market throughout the summer,” says Mandy Cornell, who co-runs the Farmer’s Market with Barbara Lowe. “The fees vendors pay to participate will help us with getting supplies like seeds and dirt for the gardening classes, for example. That way we don’t have to charge for people to do them.”
If you don’t recall things like herb gardening and cookie decorating from last year’s Farmer’s Market, you’re not misremembering. The last time the Farmer’s Market held special events like this was a few years ago, but Cornell and Lowe hope that the revenue earned from the Spring Craft Show will enable the Farmer’s Market to bring them back.
This year’s special event programming will kick off on May 6 with a birthday celebration to commemorate the 18th year of the Farmer’s Market at the Historical Society. Popular balloon artist Twisted Creations, who wowed kids and adults alike at last years’s fall and Christmas markets, will be present, and they’ll also be giving out cupcakes! Don’t forget to grab a raffle ticket for every purchase you make for the “door prize” of the week.
Special event programming will continue throughout the season:
- May 13 – Herb Gardening Class
- May 27 – DIY Shirt Bag
- June 10 – Shoe Gardening Class
- June 24 – Cookie Decorating Class
- July 1 – Small Business Day
- July 15 – Young Entrepreneur Day
- August 19 – Vendor Appreciation Day
- September 9 – DIY Fall Gardening Class
Registration is not required to participate in special events, and they’ll likely start around 11:00 (although the Farmer’s Market is still firming up the details). Make sure to follow Mint Hill Farmer’s Market on social media for the most up-to-date information.
The Farmer’s Market is expanding this year with several new vendors, including more produce, vegetable plants, flowers, and additional craft vendors – they’re even hoping to have a coffee truck, permit permitting. The majority of last year’s vendors are planning to return for the upcoming season as well. “This year is shaping up to be big,” says Cornell. “I think the two events last fall really helped get the word out about the Farmer’s Market, and hopefully this year is a good growing season. A lot of our produce vendors are really excited.”
The Farmer’s Market is held at the Carl J. McEwen Historical Village every Saturday from May 6 to September 23 from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. Post-season, the Farmer’s Market intends to host The Autumn Jubilee on September 30, and Christmas in the Village on November 18.