We all hear about “doing the right thing.” Sometimes it’s easy to make those decisions and other times not so easy, as we try to consider all the issues at hand. For the first time in 27 years, as the organizer of the Old Town Clovis Farmers Market — the Business Organization of Old Town, also known as BOOT — decided to cancel today’s Farmers Market. Market manager Kirsty Wimbish and I deliberated over the decision most of Wednesday and came to the conclusion it was the right thing to do. Due to extreme heat and poor air quality, and in consideration of the wellbeing of people who participate in the market as well as those who come to the market, it made sense to cancel.
It was a decision we didn’t take lightly. Our growers are in the middle of the most productive months growing fruits and vegetables and it is their livelihood at stake when they can’t sell what they grow. We thought about cancelling the market back in 2014 during another particularly bad heat wave, but we didn’t consider the issue until Thursday and most growers pick on Thursdays before the Friday Market. By cancelling so late they would have lost everything they picked. This time we considered the cancellation early on Wednesday and decided we could make the move to cancel the market and notify the growers so they wouldn’t harvest unnecessarily. We put out an email to all the media outlets to help us get the word out and we texted, emailed and called our growers and the other vendors.
In such extreme heat — predicted to be 111-112 degrees — on the asphalt streets surrounded by the buildings in Old Town, the temperature is closer to 118-120 degrees. People working in such heat, loading and unloading their trucks and our workers who are doing garbage detail, setting up and tearing down, are particularly vulnerable to the bad air and subject to heat stroke. We also know that many people suffer from breathing disorders here in the Central Valley and we don’t want them to come outdoors in these conditions.
Our year-round Farmers Market on Saturday mornings is a great alternative if you just want to pick up your fruits and veggies, honey, eggs, herbs, flowers, pastries, bread, grass fed beef and lamb and more! It is held on Pollasky near 5th Street from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Beat the heat and come early!
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Old Town is more than just a Farmers Market. We have cute shops, 11 antique stores, great restaurants and drinking holes — even a craft beer tasting room. You can spend the entire day in our air conditioned stores and find treasures you won’t find anywhere else. Our stores and restaurants are family owned and operated; friendly merchants who will greet you like an old friend and help you find what you are looking for. During Hot August Days we invite you to come to Old Town and enjoy what we all love — a safe place to hang out. And if you are into Pokémon Go, this is a great place to play the game. Just be careful crossing the streets as you race to collect them all!