No hibernation for PCB farmers market

PCB Farmers Market

Yoheved Artzi bags greens at the farmer's market with her husband Israel at the Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmer's Market in Panama City Beach on Sunday.

ANDREW P. JOHNSON | The News Herald
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

PANAMA CITY BEACH — Though the winter usually is the cause for hibernation, the Grand Lagoon Farmers’ Market has decided to persist.

“We never take a break here,” said Ronnie Barnes, director of Waterfront Farmers’ Market, Inc. “So we’re non-stop now, and we love being here and will as long as they’ll have us.”

The Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers’ Market has been staying open year-round this winter, unlike the other markets that closed for the season. There are a total of five farmers’ markets in Bay County which run on different days throughout the year. Most of them discontinue from mid-December until mid-February. For five weeks in that period the Grand Lagoon Market is the only game in town.

“Really the reason why we started keeping this one open is because our winter residents are just showing up in town and discovering us,” Barnes said. “They would say you can’t close now, we just got here. Now what are we going to do?”

The Grand Lagoon Market has been running since April of last year. St. Andrews’ Farmers’ Market, the original location, shuts down because the community begins to gear toward the Mardi Gras celebration. It has been around since 2004 and was incorporated as its own entity in 2010.

So through wind, rain and cold – everything save for tornadoes or hurricanes – the Grand Lagoon Market has continued to open every Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“A lot of our vendors have perishable items,” Barnes said. “One particularly nasty day, we shrunk down to 15 vendors, but we stayed and we weathered the storm.”

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