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Lake Placid farmers market relocating to Jewtraw Park

April 13, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - The AuSable Valley Grange farmers market here will change its hours and relocate from the St. Agnes Elementary School parking lot to Jewtraw Park on Station Street this summer.

The village board approved the relocation at their meeting on Monday, April 2. Village Mayor Craig Randall said Jewtraw is a good place for the market because the park is an open area of the community with less congestion. The market has been at the St. Agnes parking lot after moving from the Lake Placid Center for the Arts in 2015.

AuSable Valley Grange committee member Valerie Rogers of Lake Placid said in a phone interview the move is to bring some more life into the market.

"St. Agnes was great, and we appreciate them hosting us," she said, "but we were set up in a parking lot next to a big concrete building. Asphalt and concrete aren't too inviting. It's not really what people think when they think 'farmers market.' They want grass and water and something more aesthetically pleasing."

She also mentioned that the new location would provide more foot traffic to the Lake Placid-North Elba Historical Society, which has agreed to let the market use its parking lot at the train station for any overflow.

Rogers noted how the previous time of 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday wasn't ideal for most customers.

"Those are during working hours, which makes it kind of a struggle for some people, even myself," she said, "and that's why the new hours are from 2 to 6 p.m.

"It's been losing a little bit of traffic and some vendors in the past few years, but I think the new location and hours will help," she said. "It's always going to be a little bit of a struggle because it's mid week, whereas the farmers market in Saranac Lake is on Saturdays."

Jake Vennie-Vollrath of Saranac Lake, also a Grange committee member, said in a phone interview the goal is to have people spend more time at the market.

"The exciting thing is some local musicians will play and build an ambiance," he said. "There's also a playground at Jewtraw, so we're hoping for kids and families to hang out for a while. Plus, the view of Mill Pond and the dam is great."

Jewtraw Park is named for Charles Jewtraw of Lake Placid, a speedskater who skated on Mill Pond and eventually won the first gold medal awarded at the first Winter Olympics in 1924 in Chamonix, France. A stone monument in the park was dedicated to him in 1983.

The Lake Placid farmers market is set to open June 27 and run through Oct. 17.

According to its website, "The AuSable Valley Grange was part of a national movement that began after the Civil War, to bring the farm family and business out of rural isolation." Some of Lake Placid farmers market vendors include Juniper Hill Farm in Wadhams, Fledging Crow Vegetables in Keeseville and Sugar House Creamery in Upper Jay. The AuSable Valley Grange also runs farmers markets in Saranac Lake and Schroon Lake.



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