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Market opening 13th season May 17
4/28/2014 12:03:08 PM

By Valerie Putnam
Splash Contributor

The area's largest farmers market is set to open for its 13th season May 17.   

"We always try to do the weekend after Mother's Day," said longtime Liberty Lake Farmers Market board member Holli Parker, who's been with the market since its founding. "We always thought it was a good time."

Parker estimates having 30 vendors on site for opening day. Customers can expect to be treated to all the fresh fruit, vegetables, flowers, crafts and food the community has come to enjoy. 

Fifty vendors are scheduled to set up shop every Saturday over the course of the six-month season. Many vendors from previous years plan to return, including Jalapeno Heaven burritos and Veraci Pizza.

"We have great food," Parker said. "You could sit there all day long and eat." 

There are also 10 new vendors committed to the season, six of which are small farms.

"We're excited about that," Parker said. "We love new farmers.  That is what we are all about."

Parker is still hoping to add a coffee vendor this year. She said they have been trying to add one for years, and the market has approached a couple different vendors about the possibility. 

In addition to adding new vendors this season, the market is expanding the size of its site for two special events.

The additional space will come as a result of the city of Liberty Lake's plans this summer to renovate the field east of the market behind the former Barlows restaurant location. The renovated space will become Phase I of a three-phase project creating the new Liberty Lake Town Square Park, and the city granted the market permission to use the additional space.  

During construction, the market and city are hosting two special two-day events commemorating the new expansion. The first event is Pies and Rides Festival, scheduled for June 21 and 22. A classic car show will be held in the empty field while the annual pie festival takes place in the market. Art in the Market is the second two-day event planned for Sept. 6-7.

Though Parker hopes to see the market completely expand into the new space next season, she added that the growth needs to happen without compromising the identity of the market.

"We want to keep the integrity of the market," Parker said. "We don't want to get bigger for the sake of getting bigger." 

The market also plans to have a series of special events again this season timed on regular market days. One such event is the annual Italian Festival, scheduled for July 19. The day features cooking demonstrations and entertainment as well as the Leaning Tower of Pisa replica available for selfies or group shots.

On Sept. 20, the market hosts a customer appreciation day, and "Buy out the Market" is scheduled for the last day of the season on Oct. 11.

Parker said the market typically draws an estimated 500 to 1,000 visitors each week, and up to 1,500 during its peak.

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The Liberty Lake Farmers Market is held every Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 17 through Oct. 11. The market is located 1421 N. Meadowwood Lane. Live entertainment is planned every Saturday. 

Among the crafters, farmers and others planning to set up shop at the 2014 Liberty Lake Farmers Market this season are the following. 

New vendors: Le Petit Jarden, KD Sweet Cob, Nothing Fancy Goat Milk Soap, Kia's Flowers and Produce, XIONG's (Maikia Xiong), Xiong's Produce (Yer Her), reFRESHed and Spiceologist

Returning vendors: Huestis Photo, Liberty Lake Soap, Andie Raven Soap, Silvia Custom Jewelry, Thistle Down Wool, C & S Hydro-hut, Cherry Bomb Garlic Farm, Elithorp Farm and Nursery, Full Bushel Farm, Gourmet Foragables & More, KC's Fresh Produce, Leisure Lavender Farm, Maggie's Garden, Maple K Farms LLC, Next Level Farms, Ong's Garden, Ormond Valley Apiaries, Piper Farms, SideWalk Floral & Produce, Susie David's Cattle Co LLC, Tall Grass Farms, The Herb Garden, Tonnemaker Hill Farm, Twin Springs Farm, Vang Produce, Wild and Sweet Honey, Chattaroy Cheese Company, Ole World Oils, White Cane Salmon, Crepe Café, Lenny's Jalapeno Heaven, Trezzi Farm, Veraci Pizza, Ant'ny's Kickin' Good Salsa, Bouzies Bakery, Bruce Arndt (Poor Papa), Desserts by Sara, Liberty Lake Winery, Petit Chat Village Bakery