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Easton Farmers' Market Adds Second Day

Farmers' Market will operate in Centre Square Wednesday and Saturday starting in June.

Starting this spring, you'll be able to go to the Easton Farmers' Market in the middle of the week, shop for groceries, hear live music, and maybe even sample some locally brewed beer.

The market announced Wednesday it will begin operating two days a week in Centre Square: its normal Saturday hours from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., as well and new Wednesday hours from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Saturday market returns May 4. The Wednesday market will open June 5.

The change marks the second big change the market has made since last year, when it began running through the winter by setting up inside the Nurture Nature Center.

It's also the first time in years the market has expanded beyond its weekend schedule. Years ago, you could vendors in the square three times a week.

"It's awesome that we've gotten to a point that we can get back to that," Megan McBride, the market's manager, said at a news conference Wednesday.

McBride hopes the new market day will bring in 1,000 to 1,500 people a week, about half of what the Saturday market attracts.

The Wednesday market will involve 20 vendors, incluing the Striker Farm in Saylorsburg, Bethlehem baker Debbie Lane, the Poplar Wood Farm -- part of an effort to get more New Jersey farms to the market, McBride said -- and Easton's Weyerbacher Brewery.

Weyerbacher is actually sponsoring the additional market days, which has been dubbed "Weyerbacher Wednesdays."

McBride said to expect a "more festive atmosphere" on Wednesdays, with live music, demonstrations from local chefs, and samples of Weyerbacher's beers.

"We want people to eat, drink, think and shop locally," said Bill Bragg, manager at Weyerbacher.

Main Street officials are hoping the new hours will help other downtown Easton businesses, said Kim Kmetz, who runs the initiative. She said they'll try to convince downtown shops to stay open later on Wednesdays.

City Councilman Jeff Warren -- who is council's liason to the market -- issued a statement saying the expansion shows how "important the farmers market has become not just to Easton, but to our Lehigh Valley region."

Mayor Sal Panto said the market has been key to getting people who live outside the city to visit the downtown.

"I see people from Bethlehem, Emmaus, Lancaster," he said. "I also see people from our suburbs, they haven't been back for 15, 20 years."

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