Organizers of the Bethel Park Farmers Market had to wait longer than usual before Opening Day finally came in early June.
Everything went so well that two extra weeks were tacked on, with proceedings wrapping up Oct. 13 in South Park’s VIP parking lot, off Corrigan Drive.
“The good news is we had such success that the Recreation Department plans to continue with some Food Truck Tuesdays, probably starting in mid-November,” assistant recreation director Cathy Muscato said.
Details are forthcoming, but in the meantime the organizers can celebrate the market’s success in another realm: ranking at the top of its category and finishing third for best market in the region in the “Best of Pittsburgh” poll conducted by Pittsburgh City Paper.
“It felt great, especially when we were in the company of Bloomfield Farmers Market and Market Square,” Muscato said.
“Those are very well-established, great reputations, so to be in the top three with them, with all of the changes this year, was fantastic.”
The changes, of course, were implemented in accordance with state guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“There were some people who had questions, and they would stop at our tent and we’d explain why we made the changes. And they were very respectful,” Muscato said. “Next year, we hope to bring back some of the things we eliminated. We’d like to bring back the seating for people to be able to eat there, and the live entertainment.”
As for the Bethel Park Farmers’ Market’s stellar poll showing, she gave credit where it’s due.
“I can’t say enough about the vendors. Obviously, their products are wonderful, and that’s what really brings the people back,” she said. “They’re very engaging. They love the interaction with shoppers. And that’s the difference between a farmers’ market and a grocery store, that one-on-one interaction.”
Some of the vendors are returning for Food Truck Tuesdays, to be held at the Bethel Park Community Center, where Muscato serves as director.
“I’ll be a customer, for sure, every Tuesday,” she said. “I’ll know that I don’t have to cook dinner.”
The Bethel Park Farmers’ Market takes place from 3 to 7 p.m. Tuesdays. Those interested in being a vendor for next season can call 412-831-1328. Full market details, including links to all vendor websites, can be found at www.bethelparkfarmersmarket.com.