The Columbus Farmers Market will move to Discovery Park at the SE corner of the square on Thursday, June 27, for a special Downtown Market event. The event will take place from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. and will feature food trucks, music, children’s activities, and many products from market vendors.

A variety of specialty foods will be offered by the food trucks Ghetto Tacos and Bacon Me Krazy. The 1st Christian Church will also be on hand selling their famous corn dogs and Angelo’s Deli will have a variety of sandwiches and deli food for sale. Gourmet popcorn and kettle corn will be available from King’s Kettle Corn. Jordan and Lucas Epler of Smittle House will sell unique flavors of homemade ice cream.

The Children’s Corner will feature especially fun and collaborative activities for local young people. Pie with My Teacher is an interactive event planned by local teachers, and as the name implies, involves deliciousness. Watercolor Salt Painting lets children have fun while creating an imaginative work of art using a unique method. Musical guests will provide entertainment for all ages at the gazebo. The first 100 attendees at this week’s market event will receive a free Columbus Farmers Market poster.

Now in its second year, the Columbus Farmers Market continues to grow and offer new and unique products to residents. The local market is registered with the state of Kansas and with the National Farmers Market Coalition. Thursday, vendors plan to offer homemade yeast and quick breads, pies, cakes, cookies, and muffins, cinnamon rolls, fresh eggs, local honey and hive products, pasture-raised meats, prepared meals, handmade soaps, and arts and crafts. Garden produce is starting to become plentiful and vendors will offer a wide assortment which includes tomatoes.

A new section of the market will be the Youth Vendor area where young people will be encouraged to set up booths. A Youth Entrepreneurial Class was held recently during which local teacher and business person Matt Ross and educator and area small grower and producer Bobbi Williams instructed youngsters on the in and outs of generating ideas and business plans for starting a new enterprise.

One especially important new feature of the Columbus Farmers Market is the availability of Senior Nutrition Vouchers. This program provides $30 for of vouchers that low-income seniors can use to purchase fresh produce, honey, and herbs. Cherokee County was provided 200 sets of vouchers, of which over 100 have already been distributed. This Kansas Department of Health & Environment program brings an additional $6000 in revenue to local vendors participating at the market, as well as the same value of nutritional foods to area senior citizens. Vouchers will continue to be distributed at the Cherokee County K-State Extension office until they are gone. Information will be available at the Downtown Market Event.

All area small growers and producers are encouraged to be vendors at the Columbus Farmers Market and participate at special events. Community organizations and clubs are also encouraged to set up informational or fund-raising booths. There are no vendor or set-up fees. For more information, contact the Cherokee County K-State Extension office at 620-429-3849 or Liz Simpson at lsimpson@crossland.com or 620-674-1459.