New farmer’s market coming to Sumrall soon

By HASKEL BURNS,

Sumrall residents can look forward to fresh fruits and vegetables – and a plethora of other offerings – at opening day of the new Sumrall Farmer’s Market, set from 4-8 p.m. Aug. 13.

The market, which will be held at the Longleaf Trace station next to the Sumrall Post Office in downtown, will host local farmers, food vendors, bakers, crafters and more, with a performance by local musician Stephen Gieseler.

“This event is going to help benefit downtown by kind of making a conjunction of the businesses downtown as well as the farmer’s market,” market manager Kristin James said. “So it brings people downtown and shows what Sumrall has to offer.

“It’s bringing what some of the larger places like Hattiesburg offer, but to downtown Sumrall. The community can get together, and it’s after school, so the kids will have something to do after school.”

Vendors such as Go Go Snow, Preston Barbecue, Gary’s Dawg House and Aunt Polly’s Farms will be on hand with items like snowcones, barbecue, hamburgers and hot dogs. Well-known local farmer Harlan Aultman will offer his produce at the event.

“(Aultman) is just kind of a Sumrall staple; everybody knows who he is,” James said. “He sets up his produce on the side of the road, and he’s been doing that for years, so it’s awesome to have him and his support.”

In addition, each attendee will receive a card to bring to the various vendors. After making purchases at five different vendors, shoppers can enter a drawing for a prize provided by event sponsor Plum Trophy Sales at the end of the market day.

“So that’s a little incentive to bring people out and purchase from local vendors – farmers, merchants, that sort of thing,” James said.

Although there have been farmer’s markets in Sumrall in past years, this one will offer a slightly different format from previous events.

“I believe before, it was strictly farmers,” James said. “But this one is kind of giving small local businesses an opportunity to show off what they can offer to Sumrall and Oak Grove and the local area.”

With the support she’s received from the community and local vendors, James plans to hold the market every second and fourth Tuesday of the month until December. After a short break during January and February, she hopes to bring the market back in March and continue from there.

“Those who know about farmer’s markets and how big they can be – that it’s not just farmers, and that there’s other events that go on – that’s what makes people excited about it,” James said. “I’m hoping that it will continue on, and I’m really hoping for a great turnout.”

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