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Thursday, July 14, 2011

Maggie Describes the Farmers' Market

Here in Chico we have a great farmers' market on Thursday evenings. It's really more of a street fair. Downtown streets are closed to traffic and become a walking mall. Folks selling tie-dye set up next to farmers selling produce, people with homemade candles next to booths peddling kettle-corn or bread.

The Saturday morning market is different, smaller, with more of an emphasis on produce although other products are present.

Since MAGGIE RISING takes place in Chico, I've allowed Maggie to offer her visit to the Saturday morning market.

It was full to bursting with vendors’ pavilions, produce and products for sale, and wall-to-wall, shoulder-to-shoulder shoppers. This market was always much smaller than the Thursday night affair. Though there were usually musicians on one side or the other, or sometimes both, there were no belly dancers, no jugglers, no bounce houses or two-story inflatable slides.

Saturday’s market was always more business than pleasure. It was also quintessentially Chico – the neo-hippies with their dreadlocks and fabric shopping bags mingling with gray-haired couples holding hands and well-dressed younger families with two or three kids in tow; the Hmong farmers working their booths side-by-side with the lilywhite fifth-generation growers whose ancestors had been among the area’s first settlers; the potters and jewelry artists hawking their wares beside the folks with the petition favoring fewer restrictions on medical marijuana, while conservative politicians smiled and shook hands and kissed babies in the next booth over.

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