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August 3, 2012

Virginia Department of Agriculture Commissioner Celebrates 10th Anniversary of Williamsburg Farmers Market in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square

Matt Lohr, Virginia Department of Agriculture commissioner, will ring the opening bell at the Williamsburg Farmers Market at 8 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 11 in Colonial Williamsburg’s Merchants Square. His visit is in honor of the market’s 10th anniversary and recognizes Farmers Market Week, Aug. 5 -11. Thomas Jefferson, portrayed by Colonial Williamsburg performer Bill Barker, will greet the commissioner to converse about their mutual interest in shopping for fresh food in a local market and their interest in Virginia agriculture.

Virginia farmers, growers, bakers and watermen have been connecting with Williamsburg residents and visitors on Saturday mornings in Merchants Square for more than 10 years. This market provides delicious and nutritious food selections fresh from farms and local waters. The weekly event brings the community together in the historic center of town to shop both the market and the surrounding shops.

Forty vendors from 25 counties and towns in Virginia attend the Williamsburg Farmers Market each Saturday from 8 a.m. – noon. They sell their artisan cheeses, fresh fish and seafood, bison, honey, cut flowers, potted plants and in season fruit and produce. Visitors to the farmers market are encouraged to bring their own bags for their purchases.

The Williamsburg Farmers Market is a producer-only market where people sell only the products they have grown or harvested. They share tips for growing, cooking or arranging the often unusual or hard to find items that they sell. Chefs from local restaurants demonstrate each week how to use produce from the market in recipes that can be sampled.

During market hours on Saturdays, the Francis Street parking lot is free. Parking is available at the Prince George Street garage for $1 an hour. All other lots are posted as one-hour or two-hour parking. The regular season ends Oct. 27. For a complete list of vendors and events, visit or contact (757) 259-3768 or

Farmers Market Facts:

  • Farmers markets enable farmers to keep 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer. (Source:
  • Farmers markets help promote wholesome eating habits and preserve open spaces.
  • Local food at a farmers market saves natural resources in travel and packing materials.
  • Virginia is home to more than 200 farmers markets.

    The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation is the not-for-profit educational and cultural organization dedicated to the preservation, interpretation and presentation of the restored 18th-century Revolutionary capital of Virginia. This town-sized living history museum tells the inspirational stories of our journey to become Americans through programs in The Revolutionary City and through the award-winning Revolutionary CityTM presentation. Explore The Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg and discover the DeWitt Wallace Decorative Arts Museum featuring the best in British and American decorative arts from 1670 – 1830 and the Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Museum home to the nation’s premier collection of American folk art, comprising more than 5,000 folk art objects made during the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. Colonial Williamsburg Hotels feature conference spaces and recreation activities from spa and fine dining to world-class golf. Colonial Williamsburg is committed to expanding its thought-provoking programming through education outreach on-site and online. Purchase of Colonial Williamsburg products and services supports the preservation, research and educational programs of the Foundation. Philanthropic support by individuals, corporations, and foundations benefits the educational mission of The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation.

    Williamsburg is located in Virginia’s Tidewater region, 20 minutes from Newport News, within an hour’s drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg’s website at

    Media Contact:
    Penna Rogers
    (757) 220-7121

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