Ligonier Country Market opening with new special features
The Ligonier Country Market opens at 8 a.m. Saturday. This year's season kicks off with the celebration of a country fair theme.
Westmoreland Fair Queen Hattie Henderson and Derry Township Ag Fair Queen Amanda Wiltrout will be in attendance.
The opening day special feature is a market-wide scarecrow scavenger hunt for children and registration information about upcoming youth activities.
Larry Shew and the Shewstrings band will be performing. The Westmoreland County 4-H square dance group will also perform on opening day.
The special features fulfill several purposes, according to Linda Sinemus, a publicity volunteer with the Ligonier Country Market.
“One is to attract customers to the market who may have never come before. Another is to expose local groups in the community to a larger audience, our way of being a good citizen in the community, helping other organizations to grow and expand. Another is to provide cultural experiences to the community via music, artwork or history,” Simenus said.
The first Ligonier Country Market was held in 1976, when John West of Ligonier, Jeanne Witman of New Florence, Thomas Hughes of Derry and others joined together to form a board of directors to promote the first market, held on the Fourth of July weekend in the Bicentennial year.
It was held at the American Legion barn, now occupied by the Valley Youth Network. There were 12 vendors that first year, selling homemade pies, vegetables and handmade crafts.
By the next year, the market was established as a nonprofit corporation.
Following the market's motto “Make It, Bake It or Grow It,” the vendors continue to offer true farmer's market products. Fresh vegetables and fruits are available all season. Spring lettuce, green onions, asparagus and spinach, grown by local producers, will be the first vegetables of the season.
Vendors will offer perennials and bedding plants to those wanting to get a start on their own flower or vegetable gardens.
Market artisans, woodworkers and craftspeople will display a variety of items to wear including clothing and jewelry as well as household items.
Special features entertainment will continue every Saturday providing a mix of musical styles.
“This year's line up is the best ever,” Sinemus said. “There will be lots of music, the most we have ever had.”
Cooking demonstrations will be held to show how to cook with the produce purchased at the market.
“The newest thing is that we have our own chef in residence. Chef Mark of Chef Mark's Palate in Latrobe will be appearing four times this season to cook up delicious dishes using market produce. We are asking local farmers to donate produce for his demos and will give them recognition for doing so,” said Sinemus.
While the fresh produce, handmade crafts and home-baked goods attract a steady crowd, many come to the market for the social atmosphere. People see neighbors, relatives, old friends from high school as they stroll up and down the aisles of vendor tents. The festive atmosphere provides the opportunity for a morning of entertainment while, at the same time, providing support to local farmers, artisans and businesses.
“This is community-based project for the people of our community,” said special features committee member Lois Manon of Ligonier. “People have access to fresh produce, meat, baked goods as well as being able to sell produce there. And, it attracts people from out of the area. It gives them a destination, a beginning to their Laurel Highlands experience.”
Results of a survey conducted at the market last year, indicated a desire for more food booths and more musical entertainment. According to market manager Angela Iezzi, both have been addressed.
The average amount spent per visit was $21 to $60. Most surveyed said they shopped at the market every weekend. The favorite part of the market, according to the 65 percent of those who took the survey, was the variety offered there week after week.
Following fresh produce and plants, the most popular items purchased last year were the prepared food items.
For more information about vendors and special features, go to ligoniercountrymarket.com.
Deborah A. Brehun is a staff editor for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-238-2111 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Ligonier chamber promotes ‘Duck Dash’ fundraiser
- Super Sheetz opens doors in Ligonier Township
- Ligonier planners recommend approval of house plans
- Testimony on proposed Ligonier Township cell tower postponed for 30 days
- Ligonier Township to add new position