On the first and third Saturdays of the month, City Hall Park on Reid Avenue becomes crowded with vendors and locals, who browse the booths looking for creative decor, produce and baked goods.
The Salt Air Farmers Market has become a tradition in the community, expanding over the years to include dozens of vendors.
But over a decade ago, market organizer John Parker said, the market was just a collection of a handful of local vendors looking to bring a new kind of shopping experience to the town.
“I think we started this in 2009 or 2010,” Parker said. “… When we first started the market, we only had maybe 10 or 12 vendors at a time. But, as we have grown, now, at a maximum, we can squeeze in around 50. My average market is about 45 vendors.”
According to Parker, over the past few years, the market has begun to outgrow its regular spot.
“We’re moving over to near George Core Park, ” he said, “Probably in November.”
At the new location, market organizers hope not only to be able to accommodate more vendors, but an ever-increasing number of shoppers.
The proposed location change was mentioned by Port St. Joe Mayor Rex Buzzett during the city’s June 13 meeting, at which he mentioned that changing the market’s location would also increase available parking for shoppers.
“When we first started, we really just wanted to bring some activity to downtown on Saturdays,” he said. “It used to be a ghost town.”
“I’m just happy to have helped provide something the town did not previously have, and as more and more visitors come down, it’s become a good thing.”
Vendors that participate in the Salt Air Farmers’ Market are held to a strict set of guidelines to assure quality products for market shoppers. For details, a list of the vendor regulations as well as a vendor application form are available on the market’s website at https://saltairmarket.com.. For more information, please contact John Parker at 404-906-2637.