SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – An annual summertime tradition kicked off Friday afternoon in Scranton.
The co-op farmer’s market began its 78th season and the rain did not keep customers away.
Many shoppers have opening day circled on their calendars and always head out to Barring Avenue to check out the fresh fruits and vegetables.
With umbrellas in hand, people had to battle the rain at times Friday but they didn’t mind.
“It’s not going to stop me at all. I’ve got my umbrella, I’m ready to go,” Ginger Golden of Waymart said.
Many say they haven’t missed an opening day in decades.
“I look forward to this day every single year!” Nicole Pettinato of Scranton said.
Fresh fruits and vegetables, jams and jellies from local growers.
“It’s like the start of summer now!” Walter Serowinski of Roaring Brook Township said.
While the weather tried to play spoiler, it has helped some farmers.
“Cherries did wonderful. Peaches are looking great and apples are coming along nicely so we’re doing really well,” Andrea Heller with Heller Orchard said.
This year, visitors to the farmer’s market will notice some changes.
More than $106,000 was spent since last year renovating the co-op grounds, most significantly doing roofing improvements and installing new LED lights.
“It’s a big step. It’s brighter here and it just makes our market look so much better!” Marylee Schirg with Jim’s Farm Produce in West Abington Township said.
Significant upgrades that customers say is well worth it.
“I think it’s great. I think it’s great because especially when it starts to get dark earlier in the fall, the lights will be on. You’ll still be able to come!” Pettinato said.
“The place before it was a little bit run down but now it looks like it’s brand new and starting all over again,” Serowinski said.
Farmers say one of their dreams is to possibly one day be able to cover the entire midway to make it easier for customers to shop when it rains but that would cost too much money so it’s on the back burner for now.
The co-op farmer’s market in Scranton is now open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday through Thanksgiving.
The hours are noon until 6:00 PM in Scranton.