WILLIAMSBURG — Since the first weekend in November, the weekly Williamsburg Farmers Market (WFM) has been enjoying its new location on Duke Of Gloucester Street next to the Liberty Ice Pavilion between South Henry and South Nassau Streets.
Since the market’s inception in 2002, it has set up shop in Merchants Square most Saturdays between April and December. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the City of Williamsburg set up outdoor seating in the Square so that restaurants could still serve patrons despite social distancing regulations.
As a result, the Farmers Market pulled up stakes and moved to the parking lots on the corner of Francis Street and South Boundary Street.
According to WFM Market Manager Tracy Frey, there were some potential issues with the location, particularly the danger of people having to cross the busy intersection at Francis and South Henry Street to access the Market.
“I have spent pretty much the entire season working with the WFM board of directors, and Colonial Williamsburg and the City of Williamsburg and the Williamsburg Police to figure out where the market would go,” Frey said. “We decided to try it for November and December to see if it worked and so far it has been pretty good.”
Herner said that one of the added benefits is that the WFM will be able to operate every Saturday in conjunction with annual events that would normally force it to close such as October’s An Occasions for the Arts.
As the 2021 season draws to a close on Dec. 18, Herner says she and her staff are already looking forward to next year. 2022 will be the markets 20th year. The first WFM event will be a Valentines Day Market on Feb. 12. The first regular market day is scheduled for March 19.
Over the last year, WFM has averaged around thirty vendors a week and Herner is hoping to increase that to fifty for next season.