Manchester farmers' market moving to new locationBy MARK HAYWARD
New Hampshire Union Leader
June 14. 2018 12:33AM
MANCHESTER — The Manchester farmers’ market opens a week from today at a new downtown location — Stanton Plaza, the paved plaza in front of the Center of New Hampshire and across Elm Street from Veterans Park.
Intown Manchester, which organizes the market, said the new location will increase the visibility of the market, which will continue to operate on Thursday afternoons and early evening. The move also allows for cross-promotion with Intown’s Thusday night Summerfest concert series, which starts next month.
“People aren’t going to be able to miss us,” said Sara Beaudry, executive director of Intown. “Victory (Park) was that far off Elm Street that people didn’t realize it was there.”
The represents a setback for recent efforts to improve Victory Park, where the city of Manchester spent $180,000 two years ago on lighting, plantings and park upgrades. The park improvement strategy called for activities that would draw people to the park, thus discouraging miscreants who tend to congregate there.
New Hampshire Institute of Art holds classes and operates galleries adjacent to the park. Institute President Kent Devereaux said the Manchester Cultural District Coalition had counted on the farmers market as an anchor that allowed Victory Park to be safer and more accessible to everyone in Manchester.
“Obviously, this is a major disappointment to all of us at NHIA, including the approximately 180 students we have living downtown in our residence halls who have frequented the farmers’ market over the past few years,” Devereaux wrote in an email. He did not know about the decision until contacted by the New Hampshire Union Leader.
City Parks Director Don Pinard said complications surfaced last year when Intown moved the farmers market off Concord Street and into the park itself. Trucks ended up on the park lawn. And vendors with refrigerated product needed to be close to the street, he said.
Intown asked to move to Elm Street, Pinard said. His first choice was Veterans Park, but Intown asked for Stanton Plaza and worked out details with the Manchester Downtown Hotel, formerly the Radisson.
Beaudry said the decision had nothing to do with Victory Park itself, but with a desire to increase visibility.
Twenty vendors will participate, eight of them food vendors. Intown will soon be putting maps of nearby parking areas on social media, she said.
The Community Farmers Market begins on June 21 and will run from 3 to 6:30 pm. Ben and Jerry’s will provide free ice cream on opening day. There will be live music from Andy Kiniry as well as the Smoothie Bus, the new Manchester Brew Bus and Lets Play Music!
The concert series starts July 12.
Sponsors for the farmers market are TD BANK, AARP, NH Blacktop Sealers, the Manchester Downtown Hotel, and the Organization of Refugee and Immigrant Success