Farmers’ Market a magnet for shoppers

       Booths for a merchant sales event in Bancroft Park will be set up early Saturday morning, July 26 - as was the Old Colorado City Historical Society's June 21 arts and crafts fair and the preceding merchant fair June 28. In its 22nd year, the summer-Saturday Farmers’ Market next to Bancroft Park appeals to young and old.
Westside Pioneer photo
       Coincidence? Not at all. Organizers of both events happily say they timed them to take advantage of the hundreds of people who are already congregating for the Pikes Peak Farmers' Market on closed-off 24th Street next to the park between Colorado and Pikes Peak avenues.
       The certainty of such crowds is based on the 22-year market's popularity every summer between June and October, going from 7 a.m. to about 1 p.m. each Saturday. There's just one mystery, however, which is why it's that way.
       “I don't know,” admitted Frank Schmidt, a honey cultivator and the president of the market. “There's no parking. You've got to carry your stuff a long ways. This isn't the center of town. It defies logic.”
       And yet the market in Old Colorado City is the most popular of the four that Pikes Peak Farmers' Market puts on around town, Schmidt said.
       He offered a few reasons on the plus side. He thinks people like the market being on a street. And, “it's got shade trees and the best vendors in town [close to 30 at the peak of the season, with farmers bringing their goods from different parts of Colorado].”
       Shoppers who go to the market tend to offer such reasons as fresh food, unusual choices, old-time market atmosphere, vendors they've come to like and a chance to socialize with shoppers they know.
       Having been involved all 22 years, Schmidt recalled that initially the market on 24th Street “was a little slow-starting. But when it caught on, it really did. I hope it continues.”

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