Happy summer solstice!
Okay—technically, the longest day of the year was Thursday, June 20, but who wants to be picky about it? Today (June 21) is the first day of summer, and what a glorious one it’s turning out to be! (And by the way, we’re due for a “supermoon” this weekend, too, if the sky is clear enough to see it.) For you Saturday morning early birds, it’s also time to visit Sumter’s Downtown Market.
The market is open every Saturday this summer in the green space alongside Rotary Centennial Plaza, at the intersection of South Main and East Liberty Streets. You can’t miss it, thanks to a delicious-looking wall mural created by local teachers Mary Ann Reames and Heidi Adler, with assistance from students at Wilson Hall and Sumter High School (and also thanks to the steady stream of people going in and out!). However, this year’s market features a lot more than fruits and veggies.
Leigh Newman, City Growth & Development Specialist, expands on the changes to look for this year at the market, which opened June 1 and welcomes shoppers every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. until September 28. “We’ve had produce for the last few years, and it’s done well,” she says, “but we’ve added a lot.” Those additions include breakfast crepes and other treats served by Hamptons restaurant, artisans selling interesting and beautiful handcrafted items, plants and flowers, and recorded or live music—most recently, a trio of flautists. There’s also a children’s area, featuring face painting, bubble-blowing, sidewalk chalk, corn-hole throwing, hula-hoops and more old-fashioned fun. And of course, there’s plenty of fresh, local produce for sale!
“It’s a lot of fun,” Ms. Newman says with enthusiasm. “It’s turned into a little mini-event every Saturday.” But “coy” is the only word for her tone as she mentions “surprise events in store” and then declines to elaborate. (I suppose if she told me, though, there wouldn’t be a surprise anymore, would there?)
Join in the fun on Saturday mornings at the Downtown Market! For more info, please call the Downtown Development Office at (803) 436-2635 or check out what’s happening online at http://www.sumtersc.gov/downtown-market.aspx.
By Colette Daniels