Farmville launches warm-weather Agri-Cultural Market
By Brian Wudkwych
The Daily Reflector
Wednesday, June 13, 2018
FARMVILLE — There just seems to be something about warm weather, craft vendors, live music and cold drinks that brings people together.
That theory held true at the Duck-Rabbit Brewery on Tuesday as dozens of locals made the rounds at the first Summer Agri-Cultural Market, where they could purchase fresh produce, handmade crafts, fresh food and, of course, a dark beer from the award-winning brewery/hosting grounds.
“I’ve come to every one of these,” Ronnie Matlock, a 69-year-old Farmville resident said while holding a bag of fresh cucumbers and squash. “I really think something like this adds a lot to a community because it brings people together and shows them that there are other people here who are doing things that are community-minded.”
He added, “This little town has more life in it than any other town I’ve lived in.”
The market, which is the first installment of a summer series sponsored by Duck-Rabbit, the Town of Farmville, the Farmville Chamber of Commerce and the Farmville Community Arts Council, is similar to others put on throughout the year, according to Betsy Hughes, president of the Arts Council.
She said that the town has held such markets in the fall and spring months for the past two years, but the summer series is a chance to get the vendors and attendees under warmer skies.
“It’s a great way for our community to come out and experience events in town,” Hughes, who helped spearhead organization of the event, said. “Neighbors get to see neighbors, children are welcomed to run around and play.
“We’ve got great live music. Our vendors really enjoyed the Farmville crowd because they’ve been so friendly,” she said.
Thirteen vendors set up throughout the Duck-Rabbit lawn and though sunny skies were replaced by gray clouds, the threat of rain held off for the entire event. Held from 5-7:30 p.m., an admittedly slow start led to respectable crowds later in the evening.
In many ways, it resembled the Umbrella Market held in Greenville every Wednesday in the summer, but on a smaller scale.
It is not just a chance to liven up the quiet town either. It also fits in with Farmville’s pivot to supporting local businesses, officials said.
“We have some of the best vendors,” Judy Gidley, director of the Farmville Chamber of Commerce, said. “The best thing is that they’re so giving to the people in the community. That makes it more special than anything else.”
And for Duck-Rabbit, it was, of course, a chance to see some new faces and get a beer in their hands.
After shopping at the vendors. people took their food to the wooden tables in front of the brewery for a quick bite. For the brewery’s owner, Paul Philipon, hosting the event was any easy choice.
“I think it’s really cool,” Philipon said. ‘I like the idea of having something like farmer’s market in a town called Farmville. I like the idea of connecting my company with agricultural products because we do make an agricultural product and that’s easy to forget.”
The next Agri-Cultural Market will be on July 17 at Duck-Rabbit.
Contact Brian Wudkwych at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-329-9567 and follow @brianwudkwych on Twitter.