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Two farmers' markets slated for Feb. 10, 24 in downtown El Centro

February 02, 2001|By MARIO RENTERÍA, Staff Writer

Downtown El Centro is set to stage its first two events since the start of its recent revitalization project — farmers' markets.

The farmers' markets will be from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Feb. 10 and 24 in downtown El Centro.

The markets started in the late 1980s as a weekly event, said Olivia Ordona, community events coordinator at the El Centro Chamber of Commerce and Visitors' Bureau.

Olivia Waegner, a promotions committee member for the Downtown El Centro Association, said the markets initially were staged every Thursday for about two years, but it was decided to cut the markets to once a year because attendance started dipping.

The market had been held annually until last year when organizers decided to stage it twice a year, in January and in April.

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This year officials decided to have two farmers' markets in the same month.

Waegner said conducting the events closer together might attract more people.

"The theory was if they (people) passed our store at least they were introduced to what was available downtown," Waegner cited as the reason for starting the event.

The markets will feature fresh produce from local businesses and food for sale. Entertainment and children's activities will also be available.

Some of those children's activities include a small carnival set up by the El Centro Elementary School District along with games.

Entertainment will include the Jugless Jug Band, Mariachi Juvenil Mex-Cal, Holtville Lil' Vikettes, The Down Beats, Valley Jazz, Imperial Valley Chamber Singers and Fiddle Fair, a string ensemble.

The string orchestra and choir from Southwest High School in El Centro and the choir and pep band from Central Union High School in El Centro will perform.

Arts and crafts will be sold by local crafters. Paintings, carved wood and hand-crafted furniture are some of the items that will be for sale.

"This is one of the events that bring people out to meet up with some friends," said Ordona.

Waegner said, "We want everybody to come down and have a good time."

Staff Writer Mario Rentería can be reached at 370-8549.

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