The Columbus Farmers Market will celebrate the beginning of Autumn with another downtown market event this Thursday, September 27, from 5:00 to 7:30 p.m. Market vendors will be set up in Discovery Park on the SE corner of the square.  Local growers and producers will offer goods such as fall scented candles, succulent and mum displays in craft pumpkins, specialty soaps, honey and hive products, preserves, mums, pumpkins, acorn, butternut and spaghetti squash, sweet potatoes, green beans, peppers, homemade pies, bread, cinnamon rolls, cookies, and all kinds of specialty baked goods, locally raised meat products, and many more products.

Thursday evening will also be a celebration of spirit for local high school students as the CUHS Booster Club has planned a Homecoming Pep Rally for 6:30 at the downtown market event.  The CUHS Dance Team and Cheer Squad will perform and the Pep Band will play. The Fightin’ Titan mascot will be on hand for photos with children and free Titan face tattoos will be available.  Team Threads will have a selection of $10 Titan t-shirts for sale, including the introduction of a special pink tee that will be used in October Breast Cancer Awareness promotions for the local Mercy Hospital mobile mammogram unit. The CUHS sophomore class will have a booth to raise money for their Junior Prom. Local scouting and 4-H organizations will have information booths at the event so that interested young people can join in those activities.

Food trucks will be stationed on Kansas Street between Pine and Elm streets, beginning at 5:00 and organizers promise a unique selection of food choices.  The Columbus Public Library will host a fall sign painting class inside the State Theater Event Center.  These popular painting classes have been offered several times in town and participation continues to grow.  This particular event is a fund-raiser for Central School and is currently full, but event goers can see a display of the signs at the end of the class to get an idea of what can be produced during a future class.

The event this Thursday will culminate a highly successful Farmers Market inaugural year in Columbus.  During the height of the season, the market averaged ten to twelve producers and growers per week, which greatly exceeded expectations.  Further, the local market was fortunate to be able to offer a wide variety of locally-sourced products.  The Columbus Farmers Market is a registered farmers market with the state of Kansas and therefore follows strict guidelines concerning the collection of sales tax, where and how products can be produced, how products are labeled and packaged, among other regulations.  The purposes of a local market are many: to enable citizens to know where their food comes from; to reduce the distance food travels to get to the end consumer thereby ensuring freshness; to encourage local growers and producers to explore new markets, products and revenue sources; and to promote community engagement through residents getting out to enjoy the fresh air, socialization, and exercise of attending the weekly market.

The market will be back on a regular weekly basis next spring, but until then, plan to enjoy the special events offered this fall.  In addition to the downtown market event this Thursday, a fall festival market will be held at Rowdy’s Rustic Moose Lodge on October 18, which will include a chili supper and dessert auction fund-raiser for the Mercy mobile mammogram unit, pumpkin painting and carving, farmers market vendors, photo opportunities, and a string band from Mt View, Arkansas, featuring dulcimers, autoharps, mandolins, harmonicas, and other instruments.  On November 17, a Holiday Market will feature additional crafters along with our regular market vendors and a special luncheon.Farmers Market Sept 27 event