The city of Watertown has built a new pavilion as part of its downtown revitalization project. It's meant to house outdoor activities, including the Saturday farmers market. The farmers market held an appreciation ceremony to thank the city on Saturday.
On a busy, bustling day at the Saturday farmers market, shoppers peruse stands offering everything from vegetables and flowers to honey and baked goods. The sun beats down, and people crowd under the large, open-air pavilion to get some shade and check out what's for sale.
This market has been running for about 10 years, and used to be held at the fairgrounds. Everyone here seems to agree that this new pavilion is a big improvement.
Harold Boomhower owns the Red Barn Farm Market and the Woolly Sheep Farm in Rutland Center. He said he always did good business at the old location, but it wasn't without some negatives.
"The tents blow away in the middle of things, and the rain pounds you, and the weather really beats us up – and the customers, too," he said. "And it takes a lot away from the market. And having us be able to be here in this location, it eliminates a lot of fighting with tents and weather, and it's so much more convenient for people."
The new pavilion was finished last month and includes restrooms, benches and trees, and also houses a bandstand. It's behind many Public Square buildings right downtown.
City council member Roxanne Burns turned up for the brief ceremony. She said the pavilion was part of a larger project to revitalize Watertown's downtown.
"I think that the downtown farmers market will inspire other activities to take place down here," she said.