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Ripon: Future toast of valley farmer markets?

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POSTED March 20, 2014 1:20 a.m.

The next step for the Farmers’ Market Committee is contacting local wine makers on the possibility of taking part in the City of Ripon summer event.

At Tuesday’s Ripon City Council meeting, Mayor Chuck Winn said the group is continuing to explore adding wine-tasting to the farmers’ market in an effort to attract various customers and vendors.

“We asked (the wineries) and the early indications were that they would do it,” he said.

In recent years, the six-week farmers’ market was held in downtown during the hot summer months. Council noted that the earlier ones were heavily attended but interest usually fizzles soon after.

Moving the event to Stouffer Park comes with promise of relief from the heat, especially with the shaded trees and the manicured lawn, according to Winn, who is also part of the committee.

Another sticking point is an ordinance regarding open containers of alcohol prohibited at city parks.

Council, however, could vote on an amendment. But the change would be contingent upon the interest of local wineries as well as the community.

The plan would be to feature a local winery each week, with the wine-tasting and sells of the bottled product taking place in one of the park buildings.

The committee is also in favor of putting up large signs around town to further promote the farmers’ market, Winn said.

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