The Keller Farmers Market will have a new, bigger home this year with room for more vendors, more parking and live entertainment.
The 8-year-old market will take over the old Shady Lane at the south end of Bear Creek Park every Saturday from May 5 to Nov. 17. The market has historically been in the circle at Keller Town Center.
“We had so many vendors that wanted to come that we’d outgrown our footprint,” said Sheri Almond, executive director of the Keller Farmers Market. “We added kid programs but didn’t have public restrooms.”
Almond and Brian Boerner, board secretary for the market, started exploring other locations that would meet the needs of the vendors and the market into the future. They found everything they were looking for at Bear Creek Park — a natural setting, parking and greater visibility.
The Keller Farmers Market will have different hours — 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. — and will go three weeks longer, finishing the Saturday before Thanksgiving. The old site could cram about 38 vendors in the circle at Keller Town Center. Bear Creek Park will be able to host about 40 to 45 vendors comfortably, Almond said.
“It just makes a whole lot of sense,” Boerner said. “We bring people together and that’s really what the city wants to have happen at its parks. Some weeks we’ll partner with the parks department on certain festivals at Bear Creek Park. Taking this step takes us to where we can start planning what the next seven years will look like.”
Vendors will set up on the old Shady Lane, which has been closed to traffic for several years. They’ll have live music at the gazebo and restrooms nearby. The vendor sign ups started this month and Almond said she expects it to be full by opening day.
The City Council has approved of the move.
“The city has formally supported the Keller Farmers Market for many years now and it has been exciting to witness their growth firsthand,” said Mayor Pat McGrail. “The Bear Creek Park site will provide abundant parking, a natural promenade feel to the market and the opportunity for visitors to make an event of their trip by enjoying new programming opportunities and the nearby play amenities. I can’t wait to see what they do with their new space.”
The theme of the farmers market is locally and naturally grown food. Some vendors wake up at 4:30 a.m. to drive as far as 150 miles to make it to the Farmers Market. They come from places like Cleburne, Paradise and Prosper.
There’s the usual fruits and vegetables, which changes throughout the seasons. But there’s also chicken, beef and pork that’s been grown on North Texas ranches. For the first time, the market will sell slabs of bacon. “You get to talk to the person who took this from a seed, grew it and took it to the market,” Boerner said.
If you’re looking for a new way to prepare your foods. “You can broaden your horizon to new things and enhance the eating experience,” Boerner said.
They’ll also have pet groomers on-site for dog owners.