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River City Farmers Market President Vows to Carry On in Aftermath of Fire
Posted on: 04/30/2013
By  Mike Cullums
 
UPDATE: A River City Farmers' Market Relief Fund has been established. All funds collected will go to the vendors who lost merchandise in the fire. Supporters can drop off or mail donations to Advantage Bank, 226 Third Street, Marietta 45750.
 
As the recovery begins from Monday’s fire at the Washington County Fairgrounds, what’s next for the River City Farmers’ Market?
 
The poultry building, which burned to the ground, has hosted the market for the past four years. Despite the complete loss of the building and its contents, Gary Smith, president of the organization, says they will press on this weekend.
 
“We’ll have a market Saturday.The fair board and the county commissioners are working with us. It’ll be outside under the grandstand. There will be the produce and plants. But a lot of the vendors lost everything.”
 
It is not yet clear if the fair board’s building was fully insured, but the vendors’ equipment, arts and crafts definitely were not. Vendors’ losses have been estimated in the $100,000-$120,000 range.
 
Smith says that in the short time since the fire, there has been an remarkable outpouring of support for the vendors and the market.
 
“I would just like to thank the public for their concern. We’ve had numerous customers of our market come down and express their (desire to) help in any way that they could help us. The concern that the public has for the farmer’s market – we really appreciate that. We’ll make a big comeback here.”
 
Smith says the River City Farmers Market hopes to remain at the fairgrounds for the foreseeable future.
 
Interview conducted by Andy Rex
 
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