Login NowClose 
Sign In to shelbynews.com           
Forgot Password

Mainstreet considers moving Farmers Market

By JOHN WALKER - jwalker@shelbynews.com

The popular farmers market that now takes place on the Public Square could have a new location this year.

The seasonal market now sets up in the central parking area of the square downtown, and vehicle traffic flows continuously around the site.

Brandy Coomes, executive director of Mainstreet Shelbyville, has asked city officials for permission to relocate the farmers market to the former hospital parking lot on West Washington Street, which the city owns.

“Our first thought was safety,” she told the city’s Board of Works.

At the board’s pre-meeting Tuesday morning, immediately before its regular meeting, Coomes said the parking lot, located about two blocks west of the Public Square, is also bigger and more easily accessible.

Board member David Finkel asked about the impact of the move on neighboring homes and businesses.

“I am one of those neighbors,” said Mayor Tom DeBaun, who lives across from the site.

Coomes showed the board a sketch of a sign for the farmers market which could be changed out for other events if needed.

She’d like to set up tables and chairs so people will stay longer at the market; the new location would be quieter and better for that, she added.

Board member Bob Williams asked what the vendors who do business at the market thought, and Coomes said there is a meeting with them scheduled for April 7. 

In addition to the challenges of having the farmers market on the Public Square, the market will have to relocate anyway when the downtown redevelopment project begins, Coomes noted.

The redevelopment would eliminate the central parking area of the square where the market is held now and reroute North Harrison Street traffic to the east side of the square in both directions, freeing up the west side to put in a greenspace for public gatherings such as the city’s monthly First Friday events. 

“We’re trying to do what’s best for the customers and the families,” Coomes said.

Also, she said the farmers market will be held only on Saturdays; there won’t be a market on Wednesdays as in the past.

Opening day for the 2018 Farmers Market in Shelbyville is May 19.

The Board of Works will consider the request to use the old hospital lot for the market and have an answer at next Tuesday’s meeting.