The unofficial kick-off to summer in Aspen begins this weekend with the 26th annual Saturday Farmers’ Market, cheering for the season.
The three-block U-shaped outdoor market, which stretches from Hopkins Avenue to Hunter Street and Hyman Avenue, will feature 80 vendors this year, according to Kathy Strickland, the store manager for the past two decades.
There will be 20 agricultural and food vendors, the rest are artisans.
The layout and atmosphere of the market will be similar to last year when most of the restrictions required in 2020 due to the pandemic were lifted.
The food court at Conner Park near Old City Hall will return with the same vendors offering sausage, gyros and donuts, along with adoptable puppies and dogs through the Aspen Animal Shelter and a massage chair under the big tree.
There are new vendors this year offering fresh pasta, cereal, gluten free baked goods, marker t-shirts, photographs and handmade crochet items to name a few.
“We’ve got a nice mix this year,” said Strickland.
Music students will play their instruments on both Hopkins Avenue and Hyman Avenue, but there will be no band as there are no power hook-ups.
The city’s Trade and Lodging Commission ruled in January which vendors can be part of the Aspen market, and the selection is based on strict criteria, Strickland said. Only items manufactured, grown, and produced in Colorado are permitted.
The Aspen Saturday Market was approved by the City Council in 1998 and at the time only farm vendors were allowed. A few years later craftsmen were brought in.
The former town hall is closed and therefore there are no toilets near the venue; The closest ones are in Wagner Park, Strickland said.
The market takes place from June 11th to October 8th and is open from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm. From September 10th, the opening hours will change to 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m
For a list of this year’s vendors, visit https://www.cityofaspen.com/180/Aspen-Saturday-Market.