NORTH ADAMS -- One of the city's summer traditions is officially under way.
The North Adams Farmers Market enjoyed a steady stream of customers at its first showing of the year Saturday, set to continue through Oct. 27.
Located in the St. Anthony Municipal Parking Lot at State and Center streets, the market featured a live band, vendors selling everything from flowers to vegetables to meats -- all locally produced -- and a crowd of happy customers, many conscious of the value of keeping the local stock alive and prospering.
"We just love the idea of everyone eating more healthy and having access to the good, local food," said Diana Cirillo, who's helped put the fair together for more than a decade. "It works both ways because [customers] are helping our farmers and neighbors and they're also helping themselves by opting for fresh, local produce."
Sharon Wyrrick, owner of Many Forks Farm in Clarksburg, presided over a fragrant display of greens, herbs and other vegetables. Wyrrick said customers began cleaning out her stores before the start time of 8 a.m. even struck.
"People appreciate coming to the market because it helps them connect to what farmers do and feel a part of it," Wyrrick said. "No matter what the cost of fuel come to, small farms can be sustained and put out food year-round that's good for your health."
New farm vendors this year include Square Roots Farm, of Clarksburg -- soon to be moving to
Veronica J. Bosley, the city director of tourism and community events, looks forward to encouraging participation and growing the event over the course of the season.
"We have a really nice collection of farmers here that are dedicated to growing and making food locally," Bosley said.
Bosley said the event is held up by a committee of local farmers and "people who are interested in local food or have the food activist background."
According to Bosley, there's a particular interest among organizers in making the market more "activity-based."
"More musicians and demonstrations and things to really shape it into a market-festival idea," Bosley said.
Bosley said children's activities and a potential petting zoo have been discussed, along with educational food demonstrations.
"We would love to have a local chef come in and give a demonstration, taking ingredients from the different vendors and showing people how to make a dish," Bosley said.
Local food loyalists can look forward to these events shaping up in the coming weeks.
The North Adams Farmers Market has been active since the 1970s.