Catch seasonal offerings; celebrate Olde Time holiday

Published: Wednesday, December 12, 2012 at 05:49 PM.

This is the last Saturday of the year to catch the St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers’ Market in St. Andrews, but the Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers’ Market in Panama City Beach will remain open every Sunday.

“We had some outcries from the tourists and winter visitors who said, ‘You can’t close it. We just got here,’ ” said Ronnie Barnes of Waterfront Markets Inc.

Locals and visitors can get a jump start on the weekend markets by stepping back in time from 4-8 p.m. today during the second annual Olde Time Christmas Market. The illuminated market at the Boardwalk on Beck Avenue, near the Shrimp Boat, in historic St. Andrews will be filled with the sights and sounds reminiscent of European Christmas markets. Stroll under sparkling arches, sample holiday treats and find an abundance of regional produce and handcrafted jewelry and art from local artists. Then, enjoy freshly grilled bratwurst, sip on hot cocoa and join carolers as they entertain the crowds. The St. Andrew Bay Ferry Christmas Carol cruise will return Saturday night.

The ferry also provides water taxi service for Saturday’s St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers’ Market, connecting shoppers to the Andrews Marina and along the boardwalks along Smith’s Yacht Basin. From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., rain or shine, locals and visitors can experience the make-it-or-grow-it atmosphere with vendors set up under tents and live music playing on the boardwalk. Food enthusiast Jessica Bright will demonstrate fresh cooking with local ingredients. After Saturday, the St. Andrews Waterfront Farmers’ Market will close for the season, re-opening Feb. 16.

Sunday’s Grand Lagoon Waterfront Farmers’ Market is from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine, at Pirate’s Cove Marina, 3901 Thomas Drive, with authentic falafel by Artzi’s Organic Vegetables. Free gift wrapping is available.

Waterfront Markets, a Florida 501(c )3 with a mission to raise awareness of local agriculture while enhancing the economy of the communities it serves, receives year-round support from locals, makers, bakers and growers. The market incorporated in June 2011, when it took on the St. Andrews Community Garden.

“Over 80 percent of the children we taught our Salad 101 Class in 2012 had never planted a vegetable seed. We taught over 200 children in 2012,” Barnes said.

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