The St. Elmo Farmers Market returns for another season Friday. (Photo: Contributed)

The St. Elmo Farmers Market will officially open for the season with a kickoff event Friday evening.

Beginning Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., guests can purchase fresh produce, flowers, jewelry, crafts and several ready-to-eat food options.

The market-an extension of Lookout Farmers Market-will take place each Friday through October near the Incline Railway parking lot.

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Click here for more information.

Lori Atkins Carter, director of Lookout Farmers Market, encourages locals to take advantage of the closest market to their neighborhood.

“Farmers markets only work if they’re supported,” she said. “We like to see folks shop at their local farmers market first before they go to the big-box stores. It’s local, organic, and you’re helping to stimulate your local economy.”

For the St. Elmo Market, the atmosphere is meant to be more of a casual vibe, thanks to the large, grassy location and accessibility.

“With it being on Fridays, our desire has always been to have a block party each week,” she said. “We encourage people to bring blankets, shop for the week and pick up ready-made food for dinner. You can have dinner there before you go up the mountain.”

Several vendors will offer ready-made Indian cuisine, pasta dishes, baked goods and more.

For the past three years, these farmers markets have participated in the Fresh Savings program.The program allows SNAP/EBT recipients to “double down” when purchasing from the market. When users spend $20, they are awarded 20 free tokens worth $1 each in additional spending.

Click here for more information about the program.

Organizers are also seeking potential new vendors and musicians to perform during the market.

“We are looking for and encouraging people to play music,” Carter said. “We are looking for community groups and nonprofits to join us-anything that can help the community.”

Chesley Breedy-Oyer, new market manager for the St. Elmo Farmers Market, said that slots are available for both committed and drop-in vendors. Vendor information is available here.

Lookout Farmers Market also operates two other already-open locations: Red Bank on Mondays and Brainerd Road on Tuesdays. The market will also take place at Memorial Hospital Wednesdays from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. beginning June 7.

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