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Farmers market close to returning to fairgrounds

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 9th, 2013

WATSONVILLE The Santa Cruz County Fair Board of Directors approved a rental agreement with El Mercado Popular Tuesday to bring a farmers market back to the fairgrounds, more than a year after neighbor complaints drove it away.

The deal will become official once El Mercado Popular organizer Patricia Rodriguez signs it, who said that she will look over it with an attorney in order to better understand the terms.

The farmers market would commence at the fairgrounds on Jan. 20, and every Sunday thereafter during the five-year agreement. The market would relocate to the main parking area on the Sunday before the Santa Cruz County Fair, and will not take place on the Sunday during the fair.

El Mercado Popular currently operates Saturdays and Sundays in the parking lot at Pajaro Valley High School. Once the deal is signed, the market would continue to take place at the high school on Saturdays, but will move to the fairgrounds on Sundays.

Returning the market to the fairgrounds is "critical" for the continued operation of the fair, said fairgrounds manager Dave Kegebein.

According to Kegebein, the farmers market would generate $100,000 a year in revenue for the fairgrounds, which is about 9 percent of its annual budget.

"We've worked on this for a long time," Kegebein said. "This piece of business is very important to the fairgrounds."

For the complete article see the 01-10-2013 issue.

Click here to purchase an electronic version of the 01-10-2013 paper.

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