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Federal Way Farmers Market returns for 2010 season

Nearly 67 vendors are expected at the May 8 opening of the Federal Way Farmers Market. - Mirror file photo
Nearly 67 vendors are expected at the May 8 opening of the Federal Way Farmers Market.
— image credit: Mirror file photo

The Federal Way Farmers Market will kick off its seventh season May 8 at The Commons mall.

The market operates from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Saturday in the Sears parking lot through Oct. 30. Fresh food, flowers and crafts will be abundant.

"We didn't want just farmers," market co-founder Karla Kolibab said. "We wanted a place people could come and gather and hang out."

The first day promises to bring a variety of activities and attractions. A $5 Lions Club pancake breakfast starts at 9 a.m. The Thomas Jefferson High School marching band will perform at the same time. BECU will offer a kids activities booth, and Umpqua Bank will bring an ice cream machine. City council member Jack Dovey and daughter Jeneca Dovey will depart from the market on a bicycle ride down the Oregon and California coasts. Massages will be offered and a disc jockey will be on scene. Artist Joann Hawkins will present one of her framed Federal Way Farmers Market promotional posters to Mayor Linda Kochmar, and roughly 65 vendors will stand ready to sell their merchandise.

"The first day is going to have a little bit of everything," Kolibab said.

Throughout the season, there will be many more attractions. Special events, such as the chili cook-off between the fire district and police department, or the Lions Club classic car show, are scheduled twice monthly. Master recyclers will appear once a month, and master gardeners will appear each Saturday to answer questions about growing and maintaining produce. For the first time, an Adult Health Day will take place. The disc jockey, also a new addition, will appear for 11 of the 26 Saturdays. Cheese and meat, both from Twisted S Ranch, will also be sold for the first time this season. Yet another first: Tacoma's Three Chicks Catering Inc. will bring pulled pork and chicken sandwiches, along with breakfast items.

Beginning in June, the market will make fresh produce available to individuals of all income levels. Coupons provided by the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, also known as the WIC Program, will be accepted. Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program (SFMNP) coupons will also be available to low-income seniors.

The season is sure to bring memories. Last year, a limousine pulled up to the market and a man swiftly exited, bought a bouquet of flowers, then jetted off, market co-founder Rose Ehl said.

The Federal Way Farmers Market formed in 2003. Ehl participated in the Advancing Leadership program offered by the Federal Way Chamber of Commerce that year. At the conclusion of the program, participants complete a community project. Ehl wanted to start the market, but her idea was not selected.

Ehl and Kolibab formed a non-profit organization and became members of the Washington State Farmers Markets Association. The city provided the organization with a $21,000 interest-free loan to get the market started. In 2004, the women welcomed farmers and guests to the city's first market. In 2007, Ehl and Kolibab paid off the loan and the market has been self-sustained since.

Check it out

Visit www.federalwayfarmersmarket.com for a full list of scheduled events, vendors and more.

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