FARMERS MARKET NORTH
Location: Bradley County Recreational Park, Urbane Road, Cleveland, Tenn.
Opening date: Today
Grand opening: 10 a.m. Saturday
Operating hours: Sunrise-sunset Monday-Saturday; closed Sundays
2012 season: April 19-Nov. 30
CLEVELAND, Tenn. — Farmers Market North, located on Urbane Road in Bradley County, will open at the end of this week.
On Monday, the market's managing committee made final preparations for the facility's "soft" and grand openings, scheduled for today and Saturday, respectively.
One key change to the proposed governing rules for Farmers Market North regards the original plan to accept only vendors from Bradley and adjoining counties, said Amy Moore, legislative assistant to the Bradley County Commission.
County Attorney Crystal Freiberg said the market could restrict the market to producers, Moore said, but the Farmers Market North Committee agreed that it wanted to allow both producers and sellers. The panel agreed to let vendors try out the market during its first week without requiring a seasonal application and $25 fee.
A number of local vendors have confirmed they will be there Saturday to offer produce, flowers and baked goods, including the firms Tennessee Produce, Farm Fresh and A'Dough'Ables, market officials said.
A bluegrass band will play at the grand opening, market panel member Bobby Orr said.
Parking at the market pavilion could be crowded this weekend because of a ball tournament, said Bradley County Commissioner Robert Rominger, chairman of the Farmers Market North Committee.
But Moore said she expects a favorable turnout for vendors, especially with sports spectators nearby.
"They'll start coming in droves," Moore said.
The Farmers Market North project began nearly two years ago and cost $75,000 for the pavilion and grounds, commission Chairman Louie Alford has said.
Alford, who long has championed the creation of the county's third farmers market, also said that no county tax dollars paid for the project. He said that grants and private donations of cash, materials and labor made the market possible.
The county's original farmers market, established in 1974, continues to operate on Peerless Road. MainStreet Cleveland also organizes a downtown market.
Paul Leach is based in Cleveland. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.