The new ‘Homegrown and Homemade’ Rolla Downtown Farmers Market debuts today, Saturday, May 7 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the City’s Downtown Festival Lot in front of City Hall (901 N. Elm Street). The market, which lives up to its slogan, will continue through October, from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. each Saturday.
The new Saturday market, strategically located in the City’s downtown area, will provide lots of space for visitors and vendors, plenty of free parking, restrooms, signage and event marketing. In addition, area musicians are invited to bring their instruments and to “play in” throughout the morning and afternoon. Several area bluegrass bands are already making plans to perform. Not-for-profit organizations such as the Rolla High School Band Boosters, church groups, etc. will take turns each week selling food concessions at the market as well. This expansion and enhancement of the Downtown Farmers Market was a collaborative effort among the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, Public Works Department, Rolla Downtown Business Association, and Rolla downtown merchants and business owners.
Another new aspect of the Saturday Downtown Farmers Market, which is managed through the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, is that vendors interested in registering for a booth at the market, who reside inside Phelps County, can reserve one for free. Vendors residing outside of Phelps County, will be charged a one-time $25 vendor fee for the season. All vendors must register, and are asked to please contact Kristy Rich in the City’s Parks and Recreation Department at (573) 364-4278.
Another outdoor event planned for today is the 7th Annual Youth Fishing Clinic, which will be held at Ber Juan Lake (next to The Centre in Ber Juan Park) from 8 a.m. until 12-noon. The free clinic provides a great opportunity for youth to learn and experience the enjoyment of fishing. The first 50 kids to register will receive a free gift. The casting contest will be held at 10 a.m. There will be competitions for the largest and smallest fish and those prizes will be awarded at the end of the event. Door prizes will also be given at the end of the day. There will also be free hot dogs and drinks courtesy of the Rolla Optimist Club.
Kids ages 6-12 are encouraged to bring a fishing pole if they have one, and poles will be provided at the event for those who need them. An adult will be required to accompany each child that registers for the clinic. Participants will learn about fish identification, casting, knot tying, bait and tackle and conservation rules, regulations and ethics. This popular event is sponsored by the City’s Parks and Recreation Department, The Centre, Department of Conservation, Rolla Optimist Club, Phelps County Bank and Key Sport.
Also scheduled today at 10 a.m. at Larry May Park will be a special presentation of a very generous $5,000 donation by members of the Rolla Junior Club to the Parks and Recreation Department. The check will be presented by Kacie Wassilak, President of the Rolla Junior Club, to Ken Kwantes, the City’s Director of Parks and Recreation. The Rolla Ambassadors and City staff will also be attending the check presentation ceremony. The funds will be used for playground improvements and upgrades at Larry May Park, located on 18th Street next to the Ber Juan Sportsplex softball fields.
In closing, I’d like to remind everyone that next weekend is Rolla Downtown Days on Friday, May 13 (4-7 p.m.) and Saturday, May 14 (10 a.m.-4 p.m.), as well as Public Works Day Celebration on Saturday, May 14 (10 a.m. – 2 p.m.) at the Downtown Festival Park located across from Rolla City Hall (9th and Oak Streets). The Rolla Downtown Farmers Market will also be open on Saturday, May 14 so there will be something for everyone next weekend in downtown Rolla! A special thanks again goes to everyone involved in hosting these events and festivities for the Rolla community.
For more info on these and other events, please visit www.rollacity.org. Have a safe week!