FAIRMONT - Fairmont Market Square hopes to become an annual summer staple as it debuts at Heritage Acres annual events this year, beginning Saturday.
Fairmont Market Square is designed to be a place for people to come together and enjoy the company of their neighbors, the beauty of artisan crafts, and the health and wellness of buying from local farmers, according to Kylie Saari, local foods program manager for Rural Advantage and a member of the Fairmont Market Square committee.
"There are four events and they consist of five components," Saari said. "The first component being Heritage Acres, which is allowing the space for the Market Square while other annual events are occurring."
"The leverage is because of space and that they are already hosting these four events," said Susanna Skripnik, another member of the Fairmont Market Square committee representing the artists and vendors.
The other four components include the farmers market, local food vendors, local artists and vendors and entertainment.
"It should be like an old-fashioned picnic," said Jerry Simon, president of Heritage Acres. "When you see those old pictures, you see hundreds of people milling about. Where are those people?"
The Market Square will be located in a large tent behind the Heritage Acres school building, visible from the road. Inside will be local art, local food and other vendors.
"There will be some make-and-take sort of things," Skripnik said. "We hope to stir up some interest with other craft and art gilds, like weavers or quilting gilds. These artist collectives will have a venue now to market their wares and demonstrate their craft or art.
"It will also help raise awareness. There is a lot of talent in our region and there's not always a lot of venues for them."
And while there will be some farmers market element to the Market Square, the regularly scheduled farmers market will continue at its regular location (Five Lakes Centre) on Saturday.
Some of Saturday's Fairmont Market Square features will be a kids parade through Heritage Acres, along with the kids train ride, and stand-up paddle board rentals from Bent River Outfitters in Mankato.
One thing that will be a staple in the Fairmont Market Square events will be the 2 p.m. bike ride led by Phil Hanson along the Heritage Acres trail.
"There will be different things each time," Saari said. "Some of the other kids events are the ag olympics. We have pumpkin carving planned for October and we're in contact with the Minnesota Kite-Flying Association, which we're also hoping to get for October."
New ideas continue to fly left and right whenever the committee members meet, with ways to incorporate more of the community.
"There really is something for everyone," said committee member Donna Maday, who represents the Farmer's Market. "Ages 1 to 101."
"With this initial event, we hope it will grow," Skripnik said. "We hope people will become more involved, either by attending, or showcasing crafts, or even offering more ideas and input ... We're all so enthusiastic about it, we hope more people will join in."