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Triple Digits Keep Crowd Numbers Low For Market
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A patron stops by the Zinc House Farm booth in the city’s Main Street Park during the downtown Farmer’s Market staged on Thursday, Aug. 19. A wide variety of fruits and vegetables were available at the booth, one of several set up for the event. Marg Jackson/The Times

A mid-August heatwave, which saw temperatures soar into the triple digits several days over the past week, impacted the turnout for the Thursday, Aug. 19 Farmer’s Market in Escalon.

The thermometer hit 101 in Escalon that day and the late afternoon-early evening market definitely saw a smaller crowd than the July event. Throw in the fact that it was also Back-to-School night at nearby El Portal Middle School and the home opener for the freshman football team on the Escalon High School campus and there were people pulled in many different directions.

“We do have fewer people, not quite as many vendors as we’d hoped and it’s hot but we’re pushing through,” said organizer Megan McNinch.

She is coordinating the summer market nights for the Escalon Chamber of Commerce.

“We do have more vendors signed up for the September market,” she added, “and hopefully it will be cooler.”

The Farmer’s Markets have been offered the third Thursday of the month, starting back in May, and will run at least through the Sept. 15 date.

While the crowd was down at the latest market, people were still enjoying the opportunity to peruse the various vendor booths. They included some fruits and vegetables, handmade soaps, specialty lotions, fresh flowers, and more. There were also different food and beverage options and live music performed by a couple of different musicians during the evening.

Working at the Big Dipper booth, Alyssa Herrera was busy crafting cool drinks for market attendees. Elsewhere a first-time vendor, Jeff Hunter with Hunter’s Homegrown, had artisan snacks ranging from natural fruit and citrus products to flavored pistachios, beef jerky and hand cured small batch artisan olives.

“My family has done this for 20 or 30 years,” Hunter, a retired deputy sheriff, said of being in the artisan food field. Now, he has also joined in and said they often do weekend neighborhood pop ups and are based in Modesto.

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A couple of musicians set up shop in the middle of the grassy area of Escalon’s Main Street Park on Thursday night, Aug. 18 for the most recent edition of the Farmer’s Market. Here, Aidan Krieger performs; after he sang a few songs he set up a booth to sell some items at the market, making for a busy evening. Marg Jackson/The Times