The Cortez Farmers Market will begin on Saturday with more registered vendors than last year and plenty of food, crafts and live music produced in Montezuma County.
This year, 42 vendors have signed up for the market, including five new producers and 38 returning ones. They will be at the parking lot next to the Montezuma County Building on 109 W. Main St. from 7:30 to around 11:30 a.m. every Saturday from June through October.
Although registration for vendors closed May 12, market manager Theresa Titone said there’s still plenty of room for local not-for-profit organizations to advertise at the community booth, which is sponsored by Farmers Telecommunications.
She said the farmers market is a great way to get the community together during the summer.
“It’s more like a party than a place to buy stuff,” she said. “It’s such a friendly atmosphere.”
She has also advertised the market as an ideal option for people who want to buy local. All the vendors are from Montezuma and Dolores Counties, and Titone said the market’s board of directors regularly turns away people from outside the area who want to sell there.
This year’s merchandise will include meat and produce from returning vendors like Berto Farms, Pitts Family Ranch and The Bee Tree, as well as craft items from artisans like The Dirt Mamas and ready-to-eat food from shops like The Pie Maker. Dolores-based massage therapist Abby Gulick will even be offering traditional Thai massages to visitors. New vendors include Sky Blue Farms and Orchard Mountain Farms, as well as several individual producers.
In addition to the vendor booths, a different local musician or group will perform every Saturday the market is open. Marilyn Kroeker will play on June 3, followed by the Moetones on June 10 and Stan McNeil June 17. The Cortez Public Library will also host a story time for children, beginning at 9:30 a.m. every week. The stories follow the same theme as the Thursday Story Time at the library, but organizer Laura McHenry said the farmers market version is a little more “loosey-goosey” and involves crafts to keep kids entertained. Saturday’s theme will be “Taking Care of Our World.”
Not all the vendors will come to the first day of the market, and Titone said the first few weeks usually have lower turn-out than the rest of the summer. But she still expects between 100 and 300 visitors on Saturday.
This will be the market’s 44th year in Cortez. In a May 25 news release, Titone said she and the rest of the board hope to “keep the market going for another forty plus years.” To that end, they’ll also be selling “Buy Local” bumper stickers and other souvenirs, whose proceeds will go directly to pay the market’s costs.