Saturdays added to Farmers’ Market

by Tom Coombe -

The Farmers’ Market in Ely is expanding.
The popular event at Whiteside Park will now run twice a week, after city council members approved a recommendation from the parks and recreation commission to allow the market to take place on Saturday mornings.
That’s in addition to the weekly Tuesday evening gatherings that have become a summer tradition in town.
Vendors set up shop in the park selling produce and other items, often attracting 200 or more people.
The interest has sparked a plan to add a Saturday component and the city has agreed, with the provision that the Farmers Market not be held on Saturdays when other major events - such as the Ely Marathon, Blueberry/Art and Harvest Moon festivals - are held.
Council member Heidi Omerza, who also is part the parks and recreation commission, brought the recommendation forward along with a request that the park be set aside from 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturdays and 3 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays.
“They need a little bit more time for set up,” said Omerza.
The move came at a quiet council session that featured mayor Chuck Novak’s update (see related story) on the Holiday gas leak and subsequent cleanup.
Also Tuesday, council members moved forward with planning for the annual Fourth of July parade.
The route will stay the same as it has the last several years.
Council members also authorized various in-kind services for YoungLife, which coordinates the various activities at Whiteside Park.
The city will provide tables, extension cords, power, a refrigerator and water for the dunk tank, among other items..
In other business, the council:
• Approved a bid for G-Men Environmental Services, for just over $54,000, for the demolition of four residences.
• Directed the city clerk to send a letter to the Minnesota Department of Transportation, seeking removal of a no parking sign in front of the State Theater building.
• Approved a raffle permit for Conservationists With Common Sense.