With an eye on giving downtown New Canaan businesses a boost, town officials say they’re thinking about shifting the popular Farmers Market to a more central location.
The idea of hosting the Saturday market in one of the lots behind Town Hall had come up about six years ago, but the prospect of an extensive capital project there helped put it on hold, according to First Selectman Rob Mallozzi.
With that project finished and signals from some local merchants that they’re interested, Mallozzi said he’s ready to reopen the conversation.
“I like the idea of having the Farmers Market in town and I agree absolutely that any foot traffic we can derive from having it a couple of blocks closer to town is a good thing,” he said.
With approval from the town, the Farmers Market is slated to open Saturday, April 22 in its longtime location—the Center School parking lot off Maple Street. It isn’t clear who this year’s vendors will be—the market manager, Lexi Gazy, could not be reached for comment.
Officials say possible future locations include the Town Hall or Playhouse parking lots. The market runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Tucker Murphy, executive director of the New Canaan Chamber of Commerce, said she expects many people to resist the prospect of a change in location. Even so, the New Canaan Library is expected to be under construction at some point for a period of years during its widely anticipated rebuilding project, which may take away some parking in the area of the Center School lot.
“I think anything that can draw traffic on a Saturday morning to town—albeit briefly, for few hours in the morning—I think it’s a good thing. Because right now what happens is, people go to the Farmers Market and you get your mozzarella sitting in your car and it’s hot and you just go home. Whereas if you can park in town, go do your banking, buy your shoes, do whatever you have to do, then run to the Farmers Market and do it all in one fell swoop, seems to me like it’s a no-brainer.”