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Produce market draws crowd

Photo by Carly Farrell

Photo by Carly Farrell

ALBANY, Ga. -- Vegetables. People came to downtown Albany Saturday attracted by vegetables.

There was fruit too. Sweet peaches and blueberries probably had something to do with the turnout.

From 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. the first "Downtown Albany Market" offered locally-grown produce, flowers and entertainment to residents venturing to the heart of the city. Plans call for the market to continue on Saturdays through Oct. 8.

Heading toward the market in the ground level area of the parking deck at the corner of Jackson Street and Broad Avenue with peach smoothies in their hands three residents seemed happy to be downtown.

"It is a sad thing when a downtown dies," said Terri Hinson, accompanied by Wesley Hinson and Abby Odom. "We are here supporting downtown. We've bumped into people we know and talked. We are having a good time relaxing and enjoying downtown. We love it."

Hinson said that the peach smoothies from the Downtown Farmers Market at 106 N. Washington St. that were "out of this world" made the day very pleasant.

The Downtown Farm Market store, its neighbor the Dtown General Store and Saturday's event are helping to lead resurgence in the downtown area. Also helping, farmers from Dougherty and surrounding counties showcased fresh produce.

Collard greens, corn, eggplants, tomatoes and other veggies from farms such as Elnora Farms in Sumter and Oak Tree Organic Farms in Telfair counties brought color and a slight fragrance to the event.

"This is great for bringing the community together," said Gary Barton at the market with his wife Gloria. "We've been waiting for downtown to have the ability to do something like this. It also doesn't hurt to know where your produce comes from either."

The event went on with recorded music and as a special treat singing and dancing from Sherwood Baptist Church's "relevate" group.

"We are here to entertain," said group leader David J. Milliner Jr., "and bring a little of the godly element to the place."