The Viroqua Farmers Market opened for the season on May 7, signaling that spring has arrived.
Chris Clemens, executive director of Viroqua Chamber Main Street, said the first market went well.
“We had a lot of new vendors and the setup went well,” he said. Clemens said that while farmers haven’t started harvesting and selling their produce, there is still a good mix of food and crafts available for shoppers. He added that the weather was “fantastic”.
The market is again set up in the Western Technical College parking lot every Saturday and runs from 8:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The last market of the season is October 29. This season there are 74 vendors – 59 seasonal and 15 daily – 30 more than last year. The Viroqua Farmer’s Market requires vendors to grow produce or produce their own produce.
Clemens said there are a few new things this season – SNAP benefits are accepted, there’s a designated area for music (the Chamber is looking for musicians to fill the slots) and shoppers can visit the Chamber booth to to get money. “We are happy to have the money there,” he said. “We can swipe the card and hand over cash.”
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He added that there are a number of nonprofits that will be “rolling the market” this season. Additionally, three Saturdays – June 4, July 30, and October 1 – will have a Kid’s Market, where kids can sell items they’ve made or grown themselves.
Viroqua Night Market
Established in the summer of 2018, the Night Market returns to Eckhart Park after being canceled in 2020 and 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The night markets will take place on June 10, July 8, August 12 and September 9. Clemens said people are welcome to come to the park at 5 p.m.; however, the event runs from 6-9pm
At the Night Market, vendors will sell items similar to the Farmer’s Market, but these may be items that they did not produce themselves. There will also be food trucks, live music and a beer garden.
“The market was electric and we weren’t going to mess it up,” Clemens said.
Viroqua Chamber Main Street is working with the Vernon County Historical Society to promote Swift Night Out, which takes place on July 9.
Clemens said it was a celebration of chimney swifts, birds that roost in chimneys. He said the chimney at the Vernon County Museum is used by swifts as a roosting site.
The event takes place in the museum parking lot starting at 8 p.m., with a few speakers talking about birds.
“The highlight will be around 9 p.m. when hundreds of swifts swoop in and roost in the chimney,” Clemens said. “We are really excited to promote the event to the historical society.”
The museum is located at 410 S. Center Ave.
Angela Cina can be reached at [email protected]