OSWEGO, NY â€“ The 2010 Oswego Farmersâ€™ Market season got off to early start Thursday afternoon and was met with mixed reviews.
For the most part, those visiting the market didnâ€™t seem to mind the new 4 â€“ 8 p.m. (instead of the usual 5 â€“ p.m.) schedule.
A few of the vendors and West First Street merchants didnâ€™t care for the earlier start time.
Some of the vendors indicated that having to set up at 3 p.m. instead of 4 p.m. in itself is a hardship.
Having to leave their day jobs an hour earlier is going to be a problem, one of them said.
Other complaints included the possibility of merchants losing business due to the hour earlier closing of the street. Some claimed they were never approached by the chamber for a chance to offer their opinion.
Merchants are taking a wait and see approach to how the earlier market will affect their usual Thursday business.
As one of the said, â€œIt is what it is.â€
According to city police, the majority of motorists were leaving West First Street in plenty of time to accommodate the vendors. The others were understanding when informed about the marketâ€™s new hours.
CarolÂ Sweet and Pat Maule were visiting the Port City from California.
â€œIt seems like a real nice city,â€ Pat said. â€œWe have been looking around all over. We went to the fort, which is closed right now, And, we went to the remembrance (Safe Haven) museum. That was very good.â€
â€œWeâ€™re having a nice time walking around looking at whatâ€™s here,â€ Carol added.
They said they are traveling around to â€œlearn about other places.â€ Oswego is one of the nicest stops so far on their tour, they added.
â€œThe people here are all very friendly,â€ Carol said. â€œTheyâ€™ve been very helpful, too.â€
The market is a great place to meet friends you havenâ€™t seen all winter, according to Larry Rapshaw.
â€œItâ€™s fun to walk around and see everybody. The market is a winning combination of being able to purchase fresh produce while seeing familiar faces,â€ he said.
â€œI like it,â€ agreed Linda Knowles. â€œItâ€™s welcoming summer back to Oswego. I was taken by surprise. I didnâ€™t know it was starting earlier this year.â€
â€œStaring the market a little bit earlier is fine. Because by 8 Oâ€™clock usually everybodyâ€™s had enough and things start to wind down,â€ said Santa Miller.
Located on West First Street, between Bridge and Oneida streets, the market will continue every Thursday from 4 to 8 p.m. through Sept. 30.
There were several empty spaces along the street Thursday.
However, once the market is at full strength, there will be more than 50 vendors.
The market features a myriad fresh produce, homemade baked goods, honey, maple syrup, arts and crafts and much more.
Live entertainment is featured weekly and several theme nights will also be held throughout the summer.
For the safety of the pet, as well as the general public, animals are prohibited from the market. Bicycles and skateboards are also not allowed on West First Street during market hours.
For more information, call market manager Julie Stanka at 343-7681 or visit www.oswegofultonchamber.com