Photo: The pavilion that will house part of the Benton Farmers’ Market, photographed during construction in May 2014.
Watching the crowds at the Shreveport Farmers’ Market grow over the last few years (opening day 2013 was reportedly attended by something like 11,000 people), I couldn’t help wondering: “What happens next?” With the popularity of farmers’ markets booming, could a year-round farmers’ market be in Shreveport-Bossier’s future? Would smaller farmers’ markets in the Shreveport-Bossier region continue to spring up, like they have in Minden and Haughton? The second question seems to have been answered this year, as the Benton Farmers’ Market will host its inaugural market, 12:30-5 p.m., Sunday, June 1 at 495 Simpson Street in downtown Benton. The Benton Farmers’ Market will be held each Sunday afternoon through July 27.
“We have some great vendors who are coming from all around the Ark-La-Tex,” Benton Farmers’ Market committee member Dawn Bushnell told me. “There’ll be local entertainment and lots of things for visitors to enjoy. We’re really excited about what this is going to do for the Town of Benton.”
The Benton Farmers’ Market seems to be starting off big, with 57 vendors signed up as of a May 21 post to their Facebook page. You can also see a list of vendors on their website. Many of the vendors currently listed to attend will be familiar faces to Shreveport Farmers’ Market shoppers – Bradley Sweet Corn, Mahaffey Farms, Dardie’s Pralines and Soumas Heritage Creole Creations are among the familiar names listed. The list of vendors has a nice balance of growers/producers, crafters and “makers,” and food vendors.
The Benton farmers’ Market will be the first event to make use of Benton’s new, 3.67-acre park. Parking and restroom facilities are available on-site. A children’s playground area, picnic tables and pavilion will also be available. Future plans for the park include an expanded playground area with “splash pads,” a walking track, barbecue pits and more.