Say good-bye to the Salt-Air Farmers’ Market—at least, until next year.


Say good-bye to the Salt-Air Farmers’ Market—at least, until next year.



The final Salt-Air Farmers’ Market of the season will be held from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET this Saturday at City Commons Park, though don’t shed tears just yet because a special Christmas Market is currently being planned.



John Parker, volunteer coordinator and the market’s treasurer, has worked the event the past five years. He and his wife, Carlene, sell tie-dye clothing at the event.



Parker said that while attendance for both vendors and buyers was low this year, he blamed the unpredictable weather felt during the summer months.



He cited the range of merchants and the “sunny days” as highlights of this year’s Salt-Air season.



“If it wasn’t raining, attendance was excellent,” laughed Parker.



This season, the market had 10 regular vendors with 4-5 rotating booths, though he hopes to see that number continue to rise in the future.



One of Parker’s goals for the season was to bring in entertainment both attendees and vendors.



This year, he brought in several DJ’s and the local Christian-rock band Thirty-Three. Buddy Hamm has volunteered to perform at this weekend’s market to end the year on the right note.



 Parker reported that he has teamed up with Gail Alsobrook of the Port St. Joe Redevelopment Agency to apply for grants that would help them bring entertainment to each of next year’s markets.



The Christmas Market will be held at the normal time and place on Dec. 7 and will bring in additional vendors from Our Home at Beacon Hill, that will sell homemade crafts and the Department of Health will be on hand to help attendees sign up for the Affordable Care Act. City Commons Park will be filled with music courtesy of Thirty-Three.



Parker said that he intended to have between 20-25 vendors and buyers will be able find unique Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers.



“I love to get local people involved,” said Parker. “There are many people here with a lot of skills. We need to appreciate the work they do.”



The goal of the Salt-Air Farmer’s Market is to promote a sustainable food system on the Forgotten Coast.



Twice a month, farmers travel in from South Georgia and North Florida with seasonable fruits and vegetables that included corn, peppers, tomatoes, melons, and pineapple.



The event was founded by volunteers at the Gulf County Chamber of Commerce.



Entertainers who would like to share their talent with the Salt-Air attendees should contact John Parker at 404-906-2637. Those interested in setting up a tent at the Christmas market should also contact Parker directly. Vendors must provide a tent, table and chairs. The fee is $10.