NORWICH – Citing a decline in participation and a “toxic atmosphere” created by some vendors, members of the Norwich Farmers Market – the non-profit vendor group operating the Saturday morning farmers market in Norwich – are calling it quits to their Saturday routine in East Park.
Members of the Norwich Farmers Market broke the news to the county’s Ag Buildings and Grounds Committee this week that it will cease operations of the Saturday market, although the group’s Wednesday market will continue.
Since East and West parks in downtown Norwich are owned by the county, the Ag Buildings and Grounds Committee is the first line of authority that can allow use of the parks.
According to Sandy Pierce of the Norwich Farmers Market, the decision to suspend administration of the Saturday market was based on several factors, including a lack of vendors, squabbling among vendors, and competition of farmers markets in neighboring towns.
The decision was also influenced by a new event launched by the Norwich Business Improvement (BID) called “Saturday in the Park” which seeks to revitalize the market by bringing in non-traditional vendors and entertainment four Saturdays throughout the summer. Event organizers say they hope to draw in more people to the farmers market and breathe new life into the downtown area.