‘New’ Farmers Market building opens grandly

Fairfield Farmers and Artisan’s Market during the Christmas season.

WINNSBORO – A grand opening and ribbon cutting will be held Saturday for the new jewel in downtown Winnsboro – the recently renovated former county stable located on East Washington behind the Town Clock.

Under County Administrator Jason Taylor’s guidance, county workers have turned the former stable into a show barn that will house the Fairfield Farmers and Artisan’s Market and eventually serve as an event venue for weddings, receptions, reunions and other social events.

A celebration of the facility, organized by the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce, will begin with a ribbon cutting at 9 a.m. and end at 1 p.m.

During that time, about 30 food vendors including Doko Smoke and Winnsboro’s The Donut Guy will offer a full array of foods. Singer Sophia Lynch will entertain and, beginning at 9:30 a.m., there will be prize drawings every half hour to include gift cards to local restaurants and merchants.

Local farmers will be selling fresh produce, eggs, meats and other foods. Other vendors will offer artwork and crafts, free massage demonstrations, an entertaining parrot who will pose for photos with event visitors and a kids’ drawing contest that will be judged with prizes for the winners. A magician and a balloon creations booth will also be performing throughout the day.

Fairfield County Museum Director Pelham Lyles has displayed a number of colorful handmade quilts on the market building’s walls.

“It’s just beautiful inside, and I think everyone is going to be surprised at what they see,” Fairfield County Chamber Director Gene Stephenson said during a presentation at the County Council meeting Monday night. “We have Mr. Taylor and Ms. Terry Vickers [former Chamber Director] to thank for this becoming a reality,” Stephenson said.

Taylor, in turned passed along his appreciation to the county employees who did the renovation work.

“We did all this work in-house for the most part,” Taylor said. “We hired very little outside labor, maybe plumbers and a few others.”

Taylor said the cost was covered by $35,000 from the Chamber and about $35,000 in matching funds from the County.

The facility includes a DHEC-approved teaching kitchen which can be used by the farmers market for teaching food preservation and similar classes. Work is still to be done on the exterior and the parking lot. That work is expected to be completed this summer, according to Taylor.

“We’re going to have a lot going on at the market on Saturday. It’s going to be a big day,” Stephenson said. “We’ll have local as well as visiting state and national dignitaries visiting our town for the event, and I just hope everyone will take this opportunity to come out and enjoy it all. You’re going to be surprised,” Stephenson promised.