BY BETTY FREEMAN
Whidbey Life Magazine contributor
July 10, 2013
Brake for Clinton’s Thursday Market, where there’s a party every Thursday from 3:30 to 7 p.m. and the community comes out to celebrate.
Now in its second year, enjoy the sunshine at the market where folks relax, have dinner, listen to live music, buy from local vendors and enjoy visiting with neighbors and friends.
This year, organizers of the Thursday Market have a year of experience to fall back on, and have hopes that the cozy market will continue to grow as the word gets out.
“We want the Clinton Market to be a weekly summer party for the community,” said market manager Carol Flax.
“People love having a local market and it’s a fun community gathering.”
Located just off Highway 525 behind the Dairy Queen and adjacent to Clinton Square, the market opens for the season July 11 and continues each Thursday through Aug. 29, giving both locals and tourists a reason to brake for the sometimes overlooked Clinton. Find 20 vendors selling everything from artistic gifts, flowers, fresh produce, and health and beauty products, to jewelry, ceramics, collectibles, garden supplies, Hawaiian massages and prepared food.
A welcome addition this year is the new beer garden featuring Diamond Knot Kraft beers and wine from local vineyards. Comfort’s of Whidbey wine will be featured July 11, followed by other local vineyards in the coming weeks, Flax said.
Flax also plans to feature a different vendor or product each week starting with Eric and Britt Conn of Full Cycle Farm as this week’s star vendors. Full Cycle Farm grows a wide variety of vegetables, fruits and berries throughout the summer. Though not a certified organic farm, the Conns practice holistic farming methods and don’t use chemicals on their Maxwelton Valley farm.
“Britt and Eric work to increase the health and life energy of their land and the community,” Flax said.
Last summer, Britt was pregnant with the Conn’s first child. This year, baby Kai will attend the Market in his usual transport, the backpack.
Some other producers include Tom White, a farmer new to Clinton, selling fresh produce and Bao Lor Garden featuring stunning summer bouquets and seasonal produce, as well.
To help launch the 2013 market season this week, Hal and Gretchen Schlomann of Fern Ridge Alpacas on Holst Road in Clinton will bring Finnley and Bendito from their alpaca herd to interact with market-goers.
Al fresco dining choices the first week will be tamales and baked goods from Trés Gringos, and later this summer, Whidbey Rice will offer Thai food.
“Our intention is that people will stop by the market and have dinner on Thursday nights,” Flax said. “We’ve got picnic tables near the bandstand so people can enjoy music while they eat.”
While relaxing over a plate of spicy tamales with a glass of beer from Diamond Knot, July 11 market guests can enjoy rock ’n roll by local favorite the Tim Donovan Band. Next week, July 18, local high-school student Sanna Bjork will spin some sides as DJ for the market. Other musicians for the summer markets include The Marimbas, Nathaniel Talbot, Woody Virgil, and the Tim Donovan Band returning for encores in late July and August.
At the final Thursday Market on Aug. 29, Chef Kim Bailey of Pickles Deli will demonstrate cooking with fresh local products.
“We’re hoping for a good turnout of locals and tourists stopping by when they come off the ferry,” Flax said.
“It’s just a fun way to spend a summer Thursday afternoon.”
Visit Clinton Thursday Market’s link in the WLM Directory.
(Pictured at top, Tim and Ron of the Tim Donovan Band./ Photo courtesy of the artists.)
Betty Freeman is an award-winning freelance writer and editor who lives in Clinton with her husband Dan, a sculptor. They plan to have their dinner this Thursday at the Clinton Market and hope to see a good turnout.