CLAWSON — The 2017 Clawson Farmers Market season will open this weekend with its popular Flower Day and will continue straight through to fall with a record number of vendors since the event’s inception and a wider selection of goods.
The market will open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, May 21, at City Park at Elmwood and Custer avenues. It will continue with those hours each Sunday through September.
Clawson Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Mary Sames explained that in past years, the market would host its annual Flower Day as a single event and then reopen from July through September while closing for holiday weekends.
“I think it helps this year, because once we open, we are going to stay open right through to Sept. 24,” Sames said. “I think it helped get more vendors. We have a lot of new vendors this year signed up for the entire season.”
Sames said that with the new vendors will come a larger selection of goods, adding to the list of regular farmers and bakers.
“We have a vegan truck coming, actually, too,” she said. “And we signed up a gluten-free baker.”
Mayor Penny Luebs said the market will continue providing a family-fun atmosphere.
“Many activities are planned throughout the market season,” she said.
Luebs said she had contact with Bowl One Lanes earlier this month, which will bring two portable bowling lanes on Flower Day.
“That will be free also, as an activity, along with some new vendors, our regular vendors, food and music,” she said.
Upcoming children’s events during the season will include an inflatable obstacle course sponsored by Clawson Youth Assistance from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 18 and July 2; a Detroit Institute of Arts craft table Aug. 13; and a Starlab portable planetarium demonstration at 11 a.m. Aug. 20.
Sames said the police will collect for their annual backpack fundraiser before the start of school, and a face painter has signed up to attend every Sunday. There will be live music every Sunday too.
Sames said that along with plenty of free parking, another aspect setting the Clawson Farmers Market apart from others in the area is the ability to make a day of it shopping.
“A lot of people bring the family and the dog,” Sames said, adding that leashed pets are welcome at City Park.
Sames said that she has seen families arrive together with some folks shopping at the market, others heading to the skatepark and the small ones enjoying the tot lot.
“Then they buy food and meet back at the picnic tables and have a little picnic,” Sames said. “They make a day of it, because there really is something for everybody there.”
On the third Sunday of each month, visitors are encouraged to make a donation to the Clawson Food Pantry, which is open the third Monday of each month inside Grace Apostolic Church, 700 E. Elmwood Ave. The collection will begin this Sunday on Flower Day.
“People will buy fresh fruit and vegetables while there to donate, and then we take it over to the food pantry the next day,” Sames said. “And people are very generous.”
Sames said she started with a small collection bin, and people started putting in everything from fresh produce to baked goods, prompting her to add additional larger collection bins.
“And the people at the food pantry really appreciate it,” she said.
Sames said she is looking forward to another great season.
“Every year, it gets bigger and bigger because people really like the farmers market,” she said. “We’ve never had the big crowd, but we always have a steady string of people all day long.”
Sames said most vendors sell out and they want to return each year.
For more information about the Clawson Farmers Market, visit the group’s Facebook page.