Around 8,000 people were at Opening Day of the Des Moines Farmers Market!


Something out of this world took place last Saturday (June 7) at the Opening Day of the Des Moines Waterfront Farmers Market – with the sun shining bright and all the planets aligned, a brand new city was born within a city that was instantly populated by 8,000 people!

Yup, that’s what I said – 8K!

This was a record for shoppers and the biggest sales day in the markets 8 year history.

“Every square inch of marina floor space, and then some, was taken up either by vendors or shoppers,” said Rikki Marohl, market manager. “Many farmers told me this was their best day ever and most ran out of product. The Snohomish Bakery ran out of goods an hour before the closing. Our capacity this year is 70 booths and every one was full, and a waiting list to get in.”

One of the reasons for the large crowd was the – Awesome Truck-In – 12 trucks and most of them also ran out of food.

It truly was a remarkable day for our community.

Opening ceremonies started with Des Moines Mayor Dave Kaplan thanking all the market board members and the tireless volunteers who make this event the place to be every Saturday. He also thanked the market for its donation of picnic benches for the boardwalk and bike rack to the marina. The bike rack was dedicated to long time and original market board member and volunteer, Gary Hisel, who passed away last year. To start the day, The National Anthem was then sung by Paul Hall of the Saltwater Saints:

Also on display was an antique fire engine, where members of South King Fire & Rescue and the Des Moines Police Department held community outreaches.

“This is truly amazing,” Wayne Corey, market board president, told The Waterland Blog. “I’ve never seen anything like this!”

The market’s Foundation had its biggest wine sales day ever, in large part by having tastings of its fine Select Cabernet Sauvignon and Select Riesling wines produced by Claar Cellars of the Columbia River Valley region. The wine booth will have tastings throughout the season. The large crowd started at 10am and kept coming up to the 2pm closing and after.

Wayne also shouted out a special thanks to the marina staff and market volunteers for all their hard work in the handling the large unexpected crowds. The day would not have been so successful without their dedication.

Rikki added:

“As the season progresses you will see more farmers at the market when fresh farm fruits and vegetables are harvested, usually starting around the 3rd week in June. You can also expect to see different prepared food vendors rotating throughout the season with a wide variety of cuisine.”

The market will be back every Saturday from 10am to 2pm thru October.

Beginning June 21st the Des Moines Area Food Bank will be serving free lunch at the market for all school age children. Look for them in the grassy area next to the Marina office.

Don’t forget for the next three Saturdays to bring your used musical instruments for the Highline Music4Life program.

Don’t forget this Saturday will be the seventh annual “Washington’s Strongest Apple” weightlifting competition, always a crowd favorite:

Here are some photos taken on Opening Day by Michael Brunk (click images to see larger versions/slideshow):














3 Responses to “Around 8,000 people were at Opening Day of the Des Moines Farmers Market!”
  1. Dan Kennedy says:

    Can somebody please tell Mayor Kaplan that it is disrespectful to wear his baseball cap during the playing of the National Anthem. The cap should have been removed with the right hand, slung over the left shoulder such that his hand is over the heart.

    Councilman Sheckler wasn’t wearing a hat Saturday, but he was probably doing something wrong too. Admonish him too.

    Good job everyone else.

  2. Shari Best says:

    We had a wonderful time at the market’s opening day. The weather was perfect. Lots of good food to eat and buy.

  3. WJ says:

    Couldn’t find a parking place – should’ve walked 🙂

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