SIDNEY — In 1892 more than 300 farmers petitioned the city and the first market opened on June 15, 1892. None of the 300 farmers showed up that day, but two children did. The children, Perry and Florence DeVelvis of Adams Township, brought their wagon more than 10 miles to take part in the open-air market.
Today, the square in Sidney is filled with people every Saturday during the season. This year, the Great Sidney Farmers’ Market will be held on May 26 through Oct 13 from 8 a.m.-noon.
According to the website, the Farmers’ Market has a specific mission to, “strengthen the health of our citizens and visitors; increase sales of our regional food producers and local businesses.”
Executive Director, Amy Breinich says this year’s schedule will be much like last year some events that were popular last year will return.
“We don’t have any new events this year, but we brought back all the popular events from last year. It’s going to be pretty much the same as it was last year. We have our license through the state for wine tasting, so the wineries throughout Ohio that want to participate can sign up for that. I know for sure that Old Schoolhouse Winery will be back, I think four or five times this year. They’re out of Eaton, Ohio. Our goal is to have several of our Ohio wineries featured,” said Breinich.
On opening day, the market will be partnering again with the Masonic Temple for their Root Beer, Tunes and BBQ.
“They will have BBQ and root beer for sell as well as having The Relics hired to play music. First responders will eat free with proper ID. A limited number of meals will be available. They will have pulled pork sandwiches, a drink, and two sides for $8,” said Breinich.
On June 9, Chalk the Walk, an activity that has been quite popular, will be returning this year. During this activity, people rent a spot around the square and use chalk to decorate it.
“Chalk the Walk will be held on the courthouse square. A square and chalk will be available for a donation. They can bring their own chalk, if they’d like, too. That takes place during the market. They just stop by the info booth and get their things for that,” said Breinich.
Kids Around the Square will return on June 23, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with games, face painting, and activities put on by local organizations. The vendors will also be open during this time.
On July 14, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., the BBQ Fest will be held, featuring a cook-off, vendors, and music. The Farmers’ Market will begin at 8 a.m., as usual, and BBQ vendors will begin selling food at 11 a.m.
In September, the Rotary will again hold their annual pancake day during the market.
There will be vendors who have participated for years and some that are new this year. Vendors include produce and crafters. On all days where activities are offered on the square later than the normal hours of the farmers’ market, the vendors will be able to extend their hours as well.
“Last year we did our first ‘capture’ of how many people attend the market and on a good day we have 600 to 700 people. You don’t think it’s that many because we’re all spaced out around the entire square. Even for me, I do this daily, and it’s hard to remember that this isn’t just a small enclosed space. It’s an entire city block and people walk around and come and go. When we started estimating those numbers we realize a lot of people come here!” said Breinich.
The Fall Festival will coincide with the final day of the market.
“It’s a great way for people who have an idea for a business that is compatible with our market to give it a whirl,” said Breinich. “Try it out at the market a couple of years and see if it is popular. Then, maybe get a store to set it up in.”
Breinich can be contacted at 937-658-6945.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.