Steamboat Farmers Market celebrates 20 years (2024)

Celebrating 20 years this summer, the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market has planted its roots as the place to be on summer Saturdays — for everything from people watching while enjoying pastries, to trying tasty new foods, to supporting local farmers and artisans.

The market has grown from some 15 artists set up beside the historic Routt County Courthouse to now blocks of vendor options stretching out from Yampa and Seventh streets. This year’s Farmers Market opens Saturday and runs from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Saturday through Sept. 21.

Nonprofit Main Street Steamboat has organized the community event since its inception and works to keep the vendors local, with some regional participants. The farmers’ market is one of at least 50 across the state, according to the Colorado Farmers’ Market Association.

The local market was established in 2005 by former Main Street director Tracy Barnett, who retired in 2015.

“The best thing about the market is the vision and dream that Tracy Barnett had way back then — we did it,” said an enthusiastic Marie Winter, owner of Northern Lights jewelry business and the one remaining original vendor from the first market.

Winter said she has enjoyed her two decades at the market because the other vendors or small business owners are kind, cooperative and supportive of each other.

“What I like most about the Farmers Market in Steamboat are all the other vendors; we have all become a family,” Winter said.

Steamboat Farmers Market celebrates 20 years (1)

Although her jewelry and handbags can be found at a store in Steamboat, Winter devotes the biggest selection and pricing options for the Saturday markets. She acknowledges that manning a booth at the Farmers Market can be a “tough gig” considering the tables, tents and weather.

At the helm of the popular Farmers Market is the personable Lisa Popovich, executive director at Main Street Steamboat.

“Lisa hand picks a great diversity of products that are very local,” Winter said. “People say all the time, ‘this is such a great market.’ Ours is just fun. It’s a very big community market. It’s become such a social event for the locals.”

This summer’s market will feature more than 150 vendors with products such as produce, baked goods, packaged foods, street food, food trucks, cottage foods, art, jewelry, apparel, flowers, photography, health and wellness products, wood creations and wine. The presenting sponsor for the market is F.M. Light & Sons western store in downtown Steamboat.

Popovich pointed out a few of the returning favorite vendors such as Bee Grateful Farm, Mountain Bluebird Farm, Hayden Fresh Farm, Eagle Smoked Salmon, Pines’ Nut Butter, Need More Salsa, and Healthy by Design Pickles.

Steamboat Farmers Market celebrates 20 years (2)

Farmers markets are known in the business world as a good place for entrepreneurs to try their dream in a less expensive format. The booth fees per Saturday at the Steamboat market for food and art vendor range from $30 to $75. Vendor slots sold out early this year, aside from applications for waitlist and drop-in spaces.

Popovich said the market has helped to incubate eight storefront businesses in town through the years.

Several new entrepreneurs are joining the market this year — including Little Bee Juice + Provisions by Alex and Natalie Mara from Hayden, who will offer a variety of cold-pressed juices, locally roasted iced coffee and organic iced tea.

“We are super excited and grateful to be a part of it,” Alex Mara said. “It’s a blessing because many people were vying for a spot.”

Mara said the couple’s booth stems from his wife Natalie’s love of healthy juices. His favorite is the immunity juice with ginger, lemon and carrot, orange and pineapple juices.

“It’s our way to try out having your own business and becoming more a part of the community,” Mara said. “It’s definitely really something cool to be a part of … with a community feel.”

New this summer is the HUBbub, a market area for community groups to provide demonstrations such as master gardeners showing how to transplant tomato plants. The market also features spaces for nonprofits, City Council members answering questions, and music performed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

Popovich notes that Main Street Steamboat asks people to leave their dogs at home, especially since the pavement gets hot after 11 a.m. Some market visitors take the opportunity to cool off in the nearby Yampa River and eat lunch treats at the riverside city park.

Parking can get tight downtown, so visitors can ride bikes to the market along the Yampa River Core Trail, or park across the river at Howelsen Hill and walk across the bridges at Fifth or Ninth streets.

More information is available online at MainStreetSteamboat.com/farmers-market.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: Steamboat Springs Farmers Market

WHEN: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays June 8 through Sept. 21

WHERE: Yampa and Seventh streets, downtown Steamboat

NOTES: Leave dogs at home; bicycle parking available

INFO: MainStreetSteamboat.com/farmers-market

Steamboat Farmers Market celebrates 20 years (2024)

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