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Lewes farmers market needs new home

Cape Gazette of Lewes, Delaware

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Historical society grounds now too small

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market will need to find a new permanent home, beginning in 2017, as market officials and the Lewes Historical Society have mutually agreed to part ways.

The historical society grounds had been the home for the farmers market for 10 years before the market moved to George H.P. Smith Park this year, while the historical society grounds at the corner of Third and Shipcar-penters streets were undergoing significant upgrades. All 2016 events have been moved to other locations, but most are expected to return to the historical society when work is completed.

"The renovated Lewes Historical Society grounds, when completed, will not accommodate the Historic Lewes Farmers Market," said Don Matzkin, president of the historical society, and Helaine Harris, president of the farmers market, in a joint release. "This became clear during construction, when unforeseen subsurface site conditions caused realignment of the new driveways, thereby reducing the number of available vendor spaces to below the minimum required for the Historic Lewes Farmers Market's successful use of the Lewes Historical Society grounds for the market."

The move to Smith Park was expected to be temporary, and Lewes Mayor and City Council approved a request to use the park for one year. The market also uses the Shields Elementary School parking lot in cases of inclement weather.

Market officials will soon begin the search for a new location. Sharon Dardine, board member and spokesperson, said the market is keeping all options open.

"We are just forging ahead," she said. "We want to continue to be a very successful market."

George H.P. Smith Park may not be a permanent solution for market officials. The initial request before city officials was met with significant opposition from park neighbors, who feared increased traffic and damage to the park. Dardine said everything is going well so far this season.

The farmers market averages 35 vendors each week. Last year, 55,000 people came through the market.

The market runs from 8 a.m. to noon, every Saturday. Beginning July 13, the market will also set up every Wednesday through Sept. 7, from 8 to 11 a.m. in the parking lot of Crooked Hammock on Kings Highway. For information go to

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Original Publication Date: July 12, 2016

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