You won’t see belles swirling frilly period skirts or men tipping tall hats in greeting at our Founder’s Day celebration this Saturday, July 26, at the Holly Springs Farmers Market. Instead, you’ll find the community coming together downtown for a morning packed full of activities.
The day begins with a pancake breakfast at the historic Masonic Lodge. It continues with a market full of farm-fresh food and Town staff from various departments available to share what’s going on in Holly Springs. Activities culminate with a wing cook-off between members of Holly Springs United Methodist and Sunrise United Methodist churches.
"The Founder’s Day and Town Information Day at the Holly Springs Farmers Market always is a draw for residents," said Gina Clapp, director of the Planning & Zoning Department, which also operates the market. "It’s an opportunity for people to learn more about Holly Springs and talk with Town staff."
The day is held on the Saturday nearest the birthday of Town founding father G.B. Alford. Alford led a successful effort to petition the North Carolina General Assembly to incorporate the Town of Holly Springs in 1877. In celebration of Alford’s birthday, free muffins, while they last, from market vendors Sunrise at Sophie’s and Stephenson’s Bakery will be available from the market information tent.
Before the market opens this Saturday, the Holly Springs Masonic Lodge is holding a pancake breakfast fundraiser that begins at 8 a.m. The historic lodge at the intersection of Raleigh and Center streets downtown will be open throughout the morning; an official tour will be given at 11 a.m. The lodge, which was constructed in 1854 and used as a school for girls in 1856, is the oldest lodge and school building remaining in Wake County. It still is used today for meetings and community events.
The Farmers Market opens at 8:30 a.m. in the parking lot across from Town Hall on Main Street. As always, vendors will be selling fresh fruits, vegetables, all-natural meats and seafood, artisanal baked goods, sauces and more. Children’s activities will be available in the Little Sprouts Activity Center sponsored by Little Pros Academy. Live music by Dave Reitmeyer’s Jazz Combo begins at 10:30 a.m. This season’s music at the market is sponsored by the Villages at Pecan Grove and Allstate Insurance Sandhar Agency.
Town staff also will be at the market. Talk with Planning & Zoning Department staff about new developments, and discuss regulations for home improvement projects and home-based businesses. Learn about a new study that will guide the future of the North Main corridor. Find out more about protecting stormwater quality from Engineering Department staff, who will be on hand with children’s games and information. Enjoy free coffee from the Cultural Center café as you speak with Parks & Recreation staff about programs and parks. Introduce your children to police officers and firefighters in a relaxed environment.
"Residents are always interested or curious about what’s going on in Holly Springs," Clapp said. "Many people work during the week, so this is a great time, while residents are at the market, to take five minutes and learn about Town services and projects."
At noon on the lawn of the Baptist church beside the market, the wing cook-off begins. Members of Holly Springs United Methodist and Sunrise United Methodist churches will engage in friendly competition with all money raised going to the Holly Springs Food Cupboard.
"It’s going to be another great morning at the Holly Springs Farmers Market," Clapp said. "This Saturday is a perfect example of our Holly Springs community coming together with the farmers market Founder’s Day and our market neighbors holding activities – the masons’ fundraiser and historic lodge tours, and the churches’ wing cook-off for the food cupboard."
Attendance at the Farmers Market is averaging more than 700 people per week. Earlier this year at a special event, attendance spiked at more than 2,000 people. Parking is available in nearby lots, including the parking lots at Town Hall and adjacent to the Methodist church off Avent Ferry Road.
The Holly Springs Farmers Market’s blue ribbon sponsor is GMA Supply.