‘Local, fresh and fun’

Aberdeen Sunday Market needs volunteers for the 2023 season, so people who want to work outside through Washington state’s nice weather season should make their availability known soon.

From speaking to Lauren Garrett, market manager of Aberdeen Sunday Market (ASM), it should be a fun time. The farmer’s market runs on the south side of the intersection of Heron and Broadway streets from May 28 to Oct. 8. The market opens up at 10 a.m., and it runs until 3 p.m.

“I try to tailor jobs I give people to what they’re good at, what they enjoy,” Garrett said in her explanation of the work involved.

A few of the duties ASM might need done include setting up and breaking down; safety and cleaning checks; selling market merchandise; assisting shoppers and vendors; interacting with children in the market’s “Pop!” Kids program; and dressing up like a vegetable for photos and sign “spinning,” according to the market’s volunteer flyer on Facebook.

“Not all jobs require lifting, but we do need folks who can help us unload and load our trailer, put up tents, carry tables and chairs and things like that,” Garrett said, before noting that work starts at 8 a.m.

The volunteers must be at least 14 years-old, and they must be reliable. Volunteers must be required to stand, walk and lift, as well.

And some positions require a background check.

Garrett said the “sweet spot,” would be for five to seven volunteers to join ASM. But, she also said “the more the merrier.” That’s because it allows for flexibility with vacations, sick time, and other reasons people might not be able to work on a certain day.

The “starting point” is to get ahold of Garrett. She wants to get a better idea of the potential volunteers’ availability, skills, interests and the reasons why they want to volunteer. According to Garrett, it’s a fun time. She described the market as “local, fresh and fun.” She’s seen the enjoyment on her volunteers’ faces since 2019, when the market started.

“We have fun,” Garrett said. “It’s not super challenging. You’ve just kind of gotta be alright with hanging outside, being comfortable with interacting with people. You get a free T-shirt and a name badge — that’s always a big draw.”

Garrett said the market just needs reliable people who are going to show up consistently and on-time.

“It’s sort of a challenge that we’ve had,” Garrett said. “People show up once and then we never see them again. We need really motivated, kind of upbeat, community-oriented folks. It’d be a great opportunity for high schoolers who need their community service hours for graduation. We have some opportunities for some fun, silly stuff, like working in our Pop! Kids tent, or dressing in our vegetable costumes.”

While a few jobs aren’t too fun — cleaning out the portable toilets and taking out garbage — Garrett said she makes sure to balance out those tasks so people don’t get stuck doing the grimy work. She wants to assign people fairly and to keep it a good time. And as for the less popular jobs, Garrett does them too.

In addition to the volunteers, the market is also in need of board members, Garrett said.

Garrett said her favorite element to the market is hard to pin down.

“This’ll be my fifth year doing that,” Garrett said of managing the market. “I like being out with the community and seeing people who I might not have seen for a while, engaging with our vendors and our shoppers. It’s just a good experience. It’s a lot of fun.”

If you want to help:

To let Garrett know about your interest and for an application, email her at marketmanager@wholeharbor.org. She can also be reached at Aberdeen Sunday Market’s Facebook page.

Contact Reporter Matthew N. Wells at matthew.wells@thedailyworld.com.