As a disappointingly cold and rainy spring begins to hopefully turn into a warm summer throughout Grays Harbor County, the anticipation of exploring the community is brewing. Farm stands, flower shops, arts and crafts among other things are put on display for all to enjoy. For the city of Elma, that community exploration can be seen with the Friday Market.
The Elma Chamber of Commerce will be hosting their 2nd annual Friday Market beginning Friday, June 3. The event is designed to be a weekly gathering to help promote local farmers, crafters, and aspects unique to the Elma community. While the list of venues is bound to change throughout the season, the first week is set to see local Elma businesses as well as arts and crafts specialists such as Upcycling the Sea, who use materials that drift on the shores of Washington to make unique art.
Jillanna Bickford, the director of the Elma Chamber of Commerce, says the hope of this year’s Friday Market is to increase participation in vendors and get more people to see what goes on in the community. She also says that anyone in the community that wishes to be a part of the venue can do so with no price commitment.
“When we set up the Friday Market last year, we only allowed farms to be included. However, we think having the addition of more local vendors that exist throughout Elma is the right choice in making this event more entertaining,” Bickford explained. “We also won’t be charging anyone who wants to set up in the market. Especially with how much things cost now, it doesn’t feel right to throw another cost at people just looking to promote and sell their stuff.”
Bickford went on to say that most of the venues that are planning to attend this year are newcomers compared to last year apart from Bee Organic Farm & Apiary, which is operated locally in Elma by Rob Horton. Horton’s business specializes in growing and providing farm fresh organic fruits, vegetables, chicken eggs, raw honey, and cut flowers. While they are attending multiple farm stands throughout Grays Harbor County, Bickford say she expects them to be the Friday Market in Elma for the majority, if not all, of the year.
The Friday Market will be happening every Friday, rain or shine, from noon to 6 p.m. starting June 3. The event is expected to continue to go through September and will be present during popular city events such as the Grays Harbor County Fair which is hosted in Elma every August. All venues will be stationed outside the Chamber of Commerce building located on 222 West Main Street, in Elma.
For anyone who is interested in being a part of the Friday Market or has any questions related to the summer long event, they are encouraged to contact Bickford at 360-482-3055.