A woman selects a peach for her daughter at last year’s Federal Way Farmers Market. Opening day for the annual market is May 13. File photo

Federal Way Farmers Market opens 14th season Saturday

In its 14th year, the Federal Way Farmers Market will kick off Mother’s Day weekend with fun events, farm-fresh fruits and veggies, food vendors and fun for all.

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday, from May 13 through Oct. 28, in the Commons Mall Sears parking lot on Pacific Highway South, area residents can expect a number of vendors and events to enjoy.

Opening day is always a big event, organizer Rose Ehl said.

Mayor Jim Ferrell, other city officials and sponsors will kick things off during the opening ceremonies. High school bands will also perform, and there will be other live entertainment for the entire family opening day and throughout the season.

People can also expect about 60 vendors on opening day with food, fresh produce and other items. While the farmers market usually features between 50 to 60 vendors throughout the season, the market might attract as many as 80 for special events. New vendors may also apply to set up a booth throughout the season.

“We’re still looking for vendors,” marketing director Karla Kolibab said. “We accept them all season long because we like a variety throughout the season.”

Ehl is very excited about the number of food vendors being featured this year, especially those with international flair.

She said a Highline College employee has been instrumental in bringing new vendors to the market through the help of a grant that pays for permits and licenses to people who want to go into the food business. As a result, a vendor serving Ethiopian food will be coming throughout the market season. The market will have returning vendors serving Caribbean, Filipino and other Asian food, Ehl said. Other popular food booths feature chicken, American barbecue, mini donuts, beef jerky and Hawaiian shaved ice.

Ehl said visitors can also count on a number of farmers presenting fresh fruits and vegetables throughout the summer and fall, with all coming from Washington. She said the number of fruit and vegetable vendors varies, depending on what is in season, but onions and asparagus are usually the first to arrive, with cherries coming in June and apples in the early fall.

“Once June hits, it just all starts,” Ehl said.

Also returning this year is the USDA Fresh Bucks program, which allows people using EBT cards to purchase $20 of fresh fruits and vegetables for $10. Ehl said she hopes even more people receiving basic assistance will take advantage of the Fresh Bucks program this year.

“It’s a big need here in Federal Way,” she said.

The farmers market will also feature a number of returning events, including an outdoor bazaar and Bark for Life Pet Parade, benefiting the American Cancer Association, Aug. 5.

The always popular chili cook-off, pitting restaurants against each other to see which makes the best chili, will take place Sept. 23. The event, which used to be a competition between the police and fire departments, allows visitors to taste different chili recipes. The event also supports various non-profit organizations in the area. When they sell 50 tickets, the organization collects $10 of the ticket price, while the farmers market collects $2. Last year, the Federal Way Rotary raised the most money.

“So it benefits the restaurants and the nonprofits,” Ehl said.

Ehl said, as in past years, talented high school students will feature prominently at the farmers market. The Decatur High School horticulture class will also be returning with a booth, and this year, students will sell fresh eggs and chicks. School district robotics teams will be offering demonstrations at different events. Other entertainment includes the Halau Hula O Napualani Hawaiian Dance School of Hula and Tahitian from Seattle.

“We like to get as much community involvement as possible,” Kolibab said. “We want to be a community market, as well.”

For more information, or for applications, go to federalwayfarmersmarket.com.

More in Business

Puerto Vallarta takes Taste of Federal Way title

Nine restaurants help raise $8,500 for local nonprofits.

FUSION hosts chamber after hours in Federal Way

Guests learn about FUSION’s mission and how the boutique benefits local families in need.

Planet Fitness celebrates remodeled Federal Way location

Federal Way Chamber highlights event with ribbon cutting.

Federal Way Chamber to present impact awards at annual gala

Chamber to recognize Abbe Vineyards Winery, The Historical Society of Federal Way, Highline College.

Pauline Nganga, a Kenya-born Federal Way resident and former registered nurse opened her healthcare staffing business in June of 2017, and recently opened a location in Oregon. Photo courtesy of Pauline Nganga
Federal Way nurse pursues passion for healthcare with staffing business

Diligent Healthcare Staffing places certified nurses with facilities around region.

State of Chamber: Strong network means economic relevancy for businesses

Since 2014, the Federal Way Chamber has been working to meet its… Continue reading

Housing crisis fuels opposition to Safeco Field investment

Coalition calls on King County Council to divert public money away from stadium maintenance and put it toward affordable housing

Classy Gorilla finds niche with singing telegrams

Federal Way High School grad once taught the chicken dance to Macklemore

Center Plaza owner rebuilds shopping center after massive fire

May 2017 blaze destroyed nine businesses in Federal Way’s downtown core

Healing chronic pain: Regenerative medicine clinic opens in Federal Way

Dr. David Velling has specialized in pain management for two decades

Cindy Ducich
Cindy Ducich named sales manager for Federal Way Mirror

Longtime multimedia sales representative Cindy Ducich has been promoted to sales manager… Continue reading

Workers bustle about Joint Rivers, the state’s first drive-through cannabis dispensary, behind the Muckleshoot Bingo Hall. ROBERT WHALE, Auburn Reporter
State’s first drive-through pot dispensary opens in Auburn

Joint Rivers in Auburn is the first marijuana outlet in the state to offer the service