Farmer’s market set to open today

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 6, 1999

It’s not the best season for fruits and vegetables, but Natchez’s downtown, open-air farmer’s market will hold its ribbon-cutting ceremony today.

The slow start of a &uot;soft opening&uot; will help the Main Street Marketplace &uot;work out any bugs or glitches,&uot; said Clifton Peters, USDA liaison for Alcorn State University.

The farmer’s market is a joint project of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Alcorn and the City of Natchez. It is funded by a rural business enterprise grant through the USDA.

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Besides produce, market vendors will offer arts and crafts, Peters said.

The ceremony begins at 3:30 p.m. today and will feature remarks from Mayor Larry L. &uot;Butch&uot; Brown and Alcorn President Dr. Clinton Bristow.

Vendors will be able to sell their products beginning at 3:30. The market will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.

Peters said that as the market gets off the ground, customers will be surveyed to see what hours and days they would like to see the market open.

City Planner David Preziosi said the project isn’t quite complete – it lacks some light fixtures and window caulking – but the opening will go on as scheduled.

&uot;Those things still need to be done before we can accept completion on the project,&uot; Preziosi said.

Brown said about 35 vendors have expressed an interest in the market, but he doesn’t expect to see all of them today.

In addition to allowing vendors to sell produce and crafts, the market will be used for special events, such as November’s annual chili cookoff, Brown said.

The $260,000 Main Street Marketplace was built in the existing SuperStore building across the street from St. Mary Basilica.

St. Mary owns the property and is leasing it to the city for $1,500 a month.

Johnny Waycaster & Associates did design plans for the project, and Ransom Construction is completing construction work.