Will Falmouth Kick the Farmers Market Off Main Street?

On the agenda at Monday night's meeting of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen: A proposed special events policy stating that Main Street events should be "avoided if at all possible" in July and August.

The Falmouth Farmer's Market may lose its spot on Main Street if a new special events policy is adopted. (Louisa Hufstader photograph)
The Falmouth Farmer's Market may lose its spot on Main Street if a new special events policy is adopted. (Louisa Hufstader photograph)
The Falmouth Farmers Market, long held weekly in Peg Noonan Park on Main Street during the summer months, may lose its spot if town selectmen approve a new special events policy that discourages events on main streets in July and August.

The proposed policy states, in part,

"During the Months of July and August, approval of Special Events will be made only after careful consideration of the effect that the event will have on parking and traffic congestion in the proposed area. For example, special events on the main streets of the villages of Falmouth will be given careful consideration and will be avoided if at all possible during July and August." 

Discussion of and action on the changed policy is on the agenda for Monday's meeting of the Falmouth Board of Selectmen, which begins its public session at 7 p.m. in Town Hall following a 6 p.m. executive session on wind turbines and workers compensation claim settlement.

Also on tonight's agenda

  • Approve Payment from Human Service Department Donation Account – Penguin Digital Design, LLC - $2,450.00
  • Application for New All Alcoholic Common Victualler License – Celestino’s North Restaurant – 444 Falmouth Highway
  • Request for Additional Road Closure on Great Bay Street between Hiawatha St. and Providence St.
  • Interview Falmouth Representative to the Steamship Authority Board of Governors
  • 2014 Annual License Renewals
  • Presentation of Proposed FY15 Budget and Capital Facilities Plan
Should the farmers market should be moved out of Peg Noonan Park in high summer because of traffic? Or do you think it should stay? Tell us in the comments.

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Mike January 06, 2014 at 06:41 AM
I'd be cautious to discourage people from coming downtown, for parking concerns nonetheless. Rather encourage people to ride bikes, walk, find another means to keep the village vibrant in such a critical time of year to all merchants who benefit from the market.
Rich Signell January 06, 2014 at 06:45 AM
I hope that the Farmer's Market doesn't get kicked out of Peg Noonan Park. As a thirty-year resident of downtown Falmouth, I love seeing people walking around, talking with each other, getting better acquainted with the food we eat. I think it's great for Falmouth's image for visitors to see this, and we would lose this aspect if the park moved away from Main Street. I also think it would be great if the market closed at 6pm because then residents can more easily stop by on their way home after work. I think with the strong farm-to-table movement, there is a great opportunity for main street restaurants. This summer at the market, I ran into the the co-owner of La Civetta who was buying fresh fennel. He didn't know what he was going to do with it yet, and we were intrigued, so we went to La Civetta for dinner that night, and enjoyed a cool summer cocktail made with fennel syrup. So in a very real way, the Farmers Market brought us to Main Street for dinner!
DAVID MUTTI January 06, 2014 at 09:36 AM
The market brings people to main st. they shop the market, then they pick up bread and pastry across the street, and then maybe a pint , or lunch at Liam's maybe pick up dry cleaning, shop for new clothing at the many clothing stores it is a good thing!!!
Joan M. Edstrom January 06, 2014 at 10:05 AM
Let's keep the Farmers Market at Peg Noonan Park - it has become an institution in Falmouth!
Eric Highview January 06, 2014 at 12:13 PM
If you really feel this way, go to the selectmen's meeting tonight and show your support for the farmer's market. I hope the selectmen will represent the majority and keep the farmer's market where it is.
Elga O'Dell January 06, 2014 at 12:22 PM
How about moving it to the park with the band shell? better parking and more space.
Jane Dobisz January 06, 2014 at 07:35 PM
I love the Farmer's Market in town! It makes the town feel alive, fun, and old-fashioned all at the same time. Our world needs more of these personal markets, where people can come outdoors and chat and have a lot more fun shopping than they would at Stop and Shop! After I'm done at the Farmer's Market I enjoy visiting the local shops as well.
Lois Sullivan January 06, 2014 at 09:29 PM
I love the farmers market in town - it brings me to Main Street. I would love to come out to the meetings to show my support but I am a 6 month resident not year round. The parking is tough but the trolley is always available and fun. The market helps to make Falmouth what it is. As is the street fair and all the other special events.
David Remsen January 06, 2014 at 10:05 PM
Having just attended the Selectmans meeting where the special events policy passed I am left somewhat puzzled. There was an explicit decision to leave in a passage concerning "traffic and congestion" being the primary concern for which future event considerations will be weighed. This sounds sensible as we are all familiar with summer traffic woes. But then the board admits that it has no actual baseline data to inform these decisions. No one disagrees that traffic and congestion are bad during July and August but without some baseline how can we assess whether an event will impact traffic one way or another. Taking the Farmers Market as an example, it's one thing to say it traffic appears busier on market days but it's another thing to know this is truly the case. I drive in town regularly in the summer and I think traffic is pretty bad all 7 days of the week. I personally don't believe traffic is worse on market days. Maybe it is! The point is, without actual data to inform them, the Board has no basis on which to make its decision regarding what it considers the key criterion. So, then, what will the basis for their decisions, Yea or Nay, be as we approach the months toward summer? - David Remsen, Woods Hole
Robert Young January 07, 2014 at 09:26 AM
The current farmer's market at its present size has outgrown the Peg Noonan Park location. Just like the wonderful Nurse's Fete on the Town's Village green we used to have, it got too big and outgrew the space available. Traffic in downtown is at a standstill in front of the market now. It needs to move to a larger venue. Also, lets be clear, this is not the Falmouth Farmers Market, it is a farmers market of southeastern Massachusetts. Most of the growers at the market come here are from over the bridge to sell fruits & vegetables. There may be one or two Falmouth growers at the most at the market. Year-round Falmouth businesses, offices and municipalities need all the available parking in the summer months. If the market is such an attraction to downtown then people will hopefully find it wherever it moves and discover and support other parts of our town.


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