Bear Lake Farmers Market set to open for fourth season

BEAR LAKE — Spring is the season for growth, which can bloom in many facets.

In Bear Lake, it’s found in the farms as well as the local population, making the blossoming village a perfect place for a farmers market.

“We have lots of visitors, lots of families coming home to live on the lake in the spring and summer,” said Kathy Schafer, member of the Bear Lake Farmers Market committee. “Our influx of summer residents is always seeking something like this: fresh produce and local crafts.”

The fourth season of Bear Lake’s most recent effort to hold a seasonal farmers market is set to begin on June 22. From there, the market will be open from 1-5 p.m. every Friday through September.

Rain or shine, vendors will set up on the lawn by Bear Lake’s Flamingo Freeze ice cream shoppe, located at 11903 Chippewa Highway (U.S. 31), across from Dollar General and Honor Bank.

“We’re a small operation,” Schafer explained, “but on average we’ll have eight to 10 vendors. There are times we have more or less, but for the most part that (core group) will be here every week.

“Our location has also turned out to be rather ideal,” she added. “We have very good parking, and it’s easily spotted from U.S. 31. And where we’re located, the speed limit is low for people heading out of or into the village.”

This year, organizers are putting an emphasis on local artisans who have special items for sale, such as re-purposed furniture and farm tools, or garden ornaments and fresh cut flowers.

“We really like to focus on local crafters and their cottage produced crafts, and local farmers and their locally grown produce,” Schafer said. “We also have some who bring in fresh eggs, frozen meats — all locally raised.”

Schafer said the market’s committee is always open to new vendors joining the fray.

“We are always seeking local vendors who wish to sell their crafts or produce,” she said. “Our fees are very low; lower than any market in the area.”

Of course a farmers market is only as good as its patron too, Schafer said.

“It’s really a two-way street,” she said. “The customers need the vendors and the vendors need the customers, so we always rely on both to keep this going. We definitely want to encourage people to at least come see what our local vendors have to offer.”

The Bear Lake Farmers Market committee consists of Schafer, Susan Hejl, Debbie King, Dick Lutz, Mary Manning, Janette May and Cindy Zatarga.

Those interested in joining the market as a vendor should call Schafer at (231) 690-2210.

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Posted by Dylan Savela

Dylan is the county reporter for the News Advocate, he also is in charge of the Small Town Life, religion and senior pages. He can be reached at (231) 398-3111 or dsavela@pioneergroup.com.

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