Friday Tradition Listed as One of the Best In Nation
Summer festivities are now in full swing with a slew of special celebrations, including the forthcoming Independence Day event and the acclaimed Symphony Above the Clouds
There is no shortage of events in the Teller High Country this time of year for a variety of ages, with a hefty lineup of regular festivals.
But probably the area’s most consistent and lengthy celebration occurs weekly in a low-key, folksy style in downtown Woodland Park, and is known locally as the Woodland Park Farmers and Art Market. The festivities are abuzz with fresh produce, live music, educational booths, unique vendors and more. According to the group’s website, it now reigns as one of the top 101 farmers markets listed in the country.
Held Fridays at Memorial Park along Henrietta and Center Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and scheduled to continue through September, dozens of vendors currently show off their crafts and produce along with many local companies displaying their services. In addition, weekly musical talent play at the gazebo while lots of kids and dogs frolic in the stream water. It’s family fun for all ages, according to regular participants and market-goers.
During the market, Colorado produce vendors sell luscious tomatoes, fresh corn, giant cucumbers, local honey and many other favorite fruits and vegetables. Another popular item is the organic exotic mushrooms that resemble more of a flower than a fungus.
If sweets and homemade breads appeal to you, try the several stands offering pies, Artisan breads, and baked goods.
The market also abounds with Food Trucks, offering homemade soups, breakfast burritos, tamales and many other specialties to include a kid and adult favorite, hot dogs.
However, the Woodland Park Farmers Market is much more than about fresh fruits and produce.
On the artsy side, market-goers can often enjoy the groovy tie-dye clothing, organic dog treats, etched glass, local photography and woodworking, featuring exotic woods and much more.
A new group making the market circuit is the Junior Entrepreneurs. They peddle their homemade wares such as crafted wood signs, placemats, key chains and greeting cards.
The crafters of some of these items often offer some good deals, with the goal of helping out worthy causes.
There is the infamous “Molly,” a 10 year-old who makes greeting cards. If you buy a card for a veteran, Molly and her mother, who looks on from the sidelines , deliver these cards to a local VA hospital and give them to in-patient veterans. Molly states she is working now for college and plans on becoming a nurse, in understanding she will work hard in this profession. She states sending cards is her way of saying “thank you” to our veterans.
Another popular market vendor is local ranch operator Jessica Burton, who looks more like a rodeo queen than a rancher. She and her father run PBJ ranch in Divide. Together they raise and process cattle and Yak. A freezer sits behind Jessica full of Yak steaks and ground, from ranch to your table. She educates market-goers about the great benefits of Yak over beef (move over Bison).
On a more serious note, UCHealth, Teller County Public Health and Ute Pass Regional Paramedic Services each sport a booth, raising awareness of medical services available locally.
The Health Department was helpful in many areas of public resources that include free COVID tests, free gun locks, health and wellness programs for men and women, immunizations, breast and PAP screenings, and WIC programs just to name a few.
While the enthusiastic paramedics and EMTs take vital signs for visitors, they also conduct Narcan administration classes for those vulnerable to overdoses. They teamed up and now work in tandem with a mental health partner for those suffering from a psychiatric emergency. These cases now rival the more traditional ones involving common medical woes.
The biggest focus all agencies have in common right now is the campaign to sign up Teller residents for emergency alerts and to prepare them for an evacuation in case of fires. These local heroes will be featured at the Farmers Market until the end of September. Residents are encouraged to check out the Evacuation Checklist and review what your household is lacking in case of this emergency.
The Farmers Market will continue through September 30. For more information, visit their website at farmersmarket.com, or contact the group at 1-719-400-9986.