Carrboro North Carolina’s iconic farmers market has led the region in another way: In 1996, they secured a permanent location and an overhang over part of their market with electricity and drains available.
The Carrboro Farmers Markets is an incorporated vendor-run entity, operating twice a week in the summer and on Saturdays year-round. The Board is elected by their vendor membership and the board oversees the market staff and the market’s finances.
Recently, I asked Sarah Blacklin, Carrboro Market Manager to share some facts about their market history and structure:
1. When was the structure built? The structure secured funding from the General Assembly in 1993. The structure was completed and built by 1996
2. Who paid for it and who maintains it? Paid for by G.A. (the Market worked with the Senator to secure that funding). The Town of Carrboro Public Works maintains it since it’s used for other events all other times throughout the week. Technically the Market just “rents” the space on Saturdays and Wednesdays.
3. How many vendors use the structure and how many are outside of it? (on average of course) On average, there are 32 spaces under shelter. For Wednesdays, that’s 32 vendors and for Saturdays (since some have double spaces), that’s about 20 vendors. Out of the shelter, we’re looking at about 46.
4. Can the vendors use the outlets for electricity? Are there drains? Some vendors have access to electricity. There are electric outlets at every other space, so some folks run an extension cord or don’t use it at all if it’s not close to them. Yes, there are drains outside but there are some overall drainage issues in the outfield which is why we’re addressing these issues with a fundraiser project.
5. Is it ever used for other events? Yes, it’s commonly used for other events. The Town’s 4th of July and Halloween celebration, “Carrboro Day”, music festival, and anything in between, music festival, and anything in between.