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AURORA -- As summer approaches, so does the Aurora Farmers' Market, which is returning for its seventh season.
Each year, people visit the farmers' market to "support local farmers and local businesses," said Matt Johnson, the CEO of Red Rock Farmers Market LLC, which operates the Aurora Farmers' Market.
This year, the market will open June 14 from 4 to 7 p.m. every Wednesday, and will close for the season Aug. 30. The market is behind the Church in Aurora at Route 43 and West Pioneer Trail.
The Aurora Farmers' Market has 26 vendors this summer, all based in Northeast Ohio.
The market has added several new vendors, including Paw Love Bakery, where patrons can find various treats for their pets, and Earth Energy Power Snacks, which provides healthy, gluten-free items.
Other vendors at the market include Burton Floral and Garden, Elderberry Trail Farm, Gray House Pies, Ohio City Pasta and The Latest Scoop. As an added convenience to customers, many of the vendors now accept credit and debit cards.
Johnson said there is not a lot of "overlapping" when it comes to the different vendors. "It's more like a boutique," he added.
In past years, the market has featured different types of products, including vegetables, herbs, fruits, jams, jellies, fresh-baked bread and cupcakes. In addition to those items, the vendors have introduced hot sauce, salsa and ready-to-eat items, such as pies, pierogies, kettle corn and cupcakes that can be eaten at the market or taken home.
"It's 90 percent healthy, but everyone likes a cupcake," Johnson joked about the latter.
In addition to the market's edible treats, certain vendors offer non-edible products, such as butcher blocks, knife sharpening services and fresh-cut flowers.
Other "specialty vendors" sell products such as maple syrup, vegetarian burgers, grass-fed cheeses, natural soap and lotions and certified-organic produce.
On opening day, entertainment will include a couple who plays steel drums, and Johnson said a pet day is planned for one of the Wednesdays in August, where there will be designated activities focused on patrons and their pets. He said the date has not been finalized.
The market will conduct daily activities such as chef demonstrations, where the market's chef selects items from various vendors to create a dish, as well as live music, balloon art and face-painting. Additionally, Aurora Memorial Library will have a booth with seating and books for patrons to peruse, as well as stories for the youngsters.
While Johnson said the market is not a substitute for commercial grocery stores, he added it "provides high-quality, fresher products."
For more information regarding the Aurora Farmers' Market, visit www.redrockfarmersmarket.com.