The Star-Herald

Inspired by The Duke

You do not need to be a John Wayne fan to imagine this Western movie star throwing down a challenge with appropriate John Wayne swagger, “This town’s not big enough for the two of us, Pilgrim.  Now why don’t you just mosey on down the road?” From the size of the man and his character’s legendary skill with fists and six-shooters, one would guess that “Pilgrim” would take his advice. “Moseying here, Duke.  Just watch me mosey. Horse, make tracks.”

To some small degree, the Presque Isle Downtown Revitalization Committee inadvertently created a scenario similar to the imagined scene described above (without John Wayne, of course).  The grant that paid for “fixing up Main Street” created a space for a Farmers’ Market on Riverside Drive. They put up a roof, a number of signs and banners, and paved a section of the parking lot near the courthouse, inviting vendors and patrons to visit The Riverside Market during the summer months.  This was in spite of the fact that the Presque Isle Farmers Market already existed for a number of years, circling the wagons and popping up canopies on Saturday morning in the parking lot of their long-term, friendly host, the Aroostook Centre Mall.

One could imagine this turning into a bloody shoot-out or at least a staring match in the middle of a dusty main street.   Cue the tumbleweed. One could see the resulting “competition” leading to a loser slinking off to lick his/her wounds in private.  

Happily, in real life, local farmers and producers are not like that.  The vendors of both the Presque Isle Farmers Market and the Riverside Market are all capable of a level of maturity more closely related to compromise than coercion.  They have focused on the common good for all — vendors, patrons, city officials, even new shoppers exploring the revitalizing downtown — rather than defending their turf from interlopers (we should bottle this and ship it to Augusta).

It is with pleasure that we announce the grand (re)opening of the Presque Isle Farmers Market at Riverside.  Beginning on Saturday, June 2, and continuing every Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., right through the 2018 growing season, the pavilion and surrounding parking lot across the road from Riverside Park in downtown Presque Isle will fill with vendors bringing shoppers fresh greens, meats, eggs, started seedlings, herbs, soap, baked goods, crafts … all sorts of things to please the eye and the palate.  

We welcome patrons, old and new, to come to our combined market and fill their baskets or reusable bags with locally grown, guaranteed fresh grocery items and the handcrafted artistry of local crafters.  Even John Wayne could see the positive aspects of this collaboration.

See you there, Pilgrim.

The Presque Isle Farmers’ Market president for the 2018 season is Deena Albert-Parks of Chops Ahoy Farm in Woodland. For information about participating or visiting the market, contact her at hoctrainer@aol.com.

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