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COOS BAY — With fall in full swing, the Downtown Coos Bay Farmers Market is coming to an end for the year.

The market had a strong opening, with the most vendors its ever had for the beginning of its summer season. In July the market peaked in size, reaching nearly 100 vendors.

People walk Wednesday along Central Avenue during the Coos Bay Downtown Farmers Market, which will end its outdoor season next week. 

“We know next year we’re going to hit the triple digits for the market,” market manager Ashley Audycki said. “Overall, more people are coming to the market. The market this year has been the go-to spot to do something community oriented and reach out to people.”

For the first time this year, the Coos Bay Public Library set up at a handful of Wednesday markets to provide a storytelling time for kids.

“It was cute to see kids getting read stories at the market,” Audycki said.

One thing Audycki is proud of is how accessible the market is to all people. This year, the Coos Bay Downtown Association purchased a new EBT devices that allows for faster processing of food stamps at the market. Resources like the Pacific Pregnancy Center attended a number of market days, providing free baby formula to those who needed it. Programs like WIC and SNAP were also available throughout the summer.

“Farmers markets have been seen as an elitist shopping venture for a while, but as a market manager, my personal vision and goal is to make the sure this is accessible to everyone," Audycki said. "No matter what your budget is, no matter what your life circumstances are, you are welcome and invited to this farmers market.”

People walk Wednesday along Central Avenue during the Coos Bay Downtown Farmers Market, which comes to a seasonal end next week. 

Businesses like So It Goes Coffeehouse continued to bring art and culture to the farmers market, with local and traveling musicians and art openings all summer long.

According to Audycki, members of the homeless community have been helping with the market this year by helping some farmers unload their trucks and picking up trash.

“A couple of the homeless folks here are employed by market vendors to help them unload their trucks,” Audycki said.

The last Wednesday folks will be able to walk downtown for farm-fresh produce is next week, Oct. 30, from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. After that, the market will move into Pony Village Mall on Wednesdays for the winter months.

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Nicholas A. Johnson can be reached at 541-266-6049, or by email at nicholas.johnson@theworldlink.com.

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