PITTSFIELD -- The Downtown Pittsfield Farmers Market will launch its second season on Saturday morning, offering food, produce, events and entertainment in the parking lot across from The Common on First Street.
Begun in 2013 with the help of $10,000 in start-up funding from the city, the market proved a success from the start, said its manager, Jessica Conzo. The venture also picked up business sponsors in 2013, she said, and that will continue and expand this summer and fall and provide all the needed support.
"We are very pleased" said Conzo. "We plan to expand the market this year."
The market will run every Saturday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 25.
Farmers and food producers will include Assembly Coffee Roasters, Balderdash Cellars, Berkshire Mountain Bakery, Climbing Tree Farm, David's Biscotti, Elmartin Farm, Four Corners Farm, Green Meads Farm Herbals, How We Roll food truck, Maynard Landscape & Garden Center, North Plain Farm, Blue Hill Farm, Ryan Landscaping, Taft Farms, Tortured Orchard, Trusted Roots Farm, Windy Ridge Farm and more.
"We'll have lots of great events this year," Conzo said.
Among them are live music, beginning Saturday with sin-
ger/songwriter Billy Keane, performing at 11 a.m., and a chef demonstration with Dottie's Coffee Lounge at 11:30 a.m.
A committee has scheduled a wide range of performers, workshops, chef demos and other events, including a Farm & Flea combo market and a Food Truck Festival.
View the calendar at farmersmarketpittsfield.org/dpfm/calendar.
"We had an amazing first year," Conzo said. "The Pittsfield community was incredibly supportive, as were our vendors."
"I'm looking forward to it; we expect to have another successful year," said Mayor Daniel L. Bianchi.
Organizers "learned a lot last year," he said, and that should lead to an expansion of events, offerings and entertainment.
"This is a very unique event [to Pittsfield]," Bianchi said, adding that markets that have a strong community focus are a key to a successful downtown.
The market on Saturday also will feature an array of local artisans who offer gifts for Mother's Day. The market, in partnership with the Unitarian Universalists Church of Pittsfield, also will have a weekly Farm-to-Table Food Drive. Shoppers can purchase fresh foods from the market to be donated to local shelters.
The market accepts Supp-
lemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits (formerly called Food Stamps), and many vendors also accept benefits from the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Prog-
ram and the Women, Infants and Children program.
The Pittsfield market is a partnership of the city and Alchemy Initiative. The lead sponsor is Greylock Federal Credit Union, with additional sponsorship by the Greeneway Wellness Foundation, the Green Pastures Fund of the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation, the Massachusetts Cultural Council, and other funders and friends.