More than 4,000 people turned out for the opening day of the Cape Coral Farmers' Market Saturday, making it one of the area's most popular attractions.
"It was the busiest first day we've ever had," said organizer Claudia St. Onge of the record turnout. "I think it was number of things. I believe the economy has picked up and season is starting sooner, and the fact that we also bring something to downtown on a consistent basis. I also belive it is the biggest, best market in the area because our core is produce, and people love fresh, local produce."
Partners Colleen Rose and Jimmy Andrews of C & J Produce reported great opening day sales.
Tegan Heeb from her family business Cuttthroat Clams has a clam perform “clam tricks” for kids.
"We were sold out by 11 a.m.," Andrews said. "It was a blow out day."
Over 70 vendors were there, with everything from the produce to a wide variety of diverse vendors. The majority of vendors are local and returning.
They sold everything from local honey, hand-made candles, plants, baskets and more. There was also gulf-fresh seafood, home-made pickles, guacamole and fresh bakery items, and there will be live music each week.
Sister Tegan and brother Toby Heeb from their family business Cuttthroat Clams brought in catches from Pine Island Sound. They also entertained kids by having one "pet clam" perform "clam tricks" for kids. (You applaud when he does neat tricks like "stay!" and "play dead!")
For the first time, the Cape Coral Farmers Market was designated as an authorized SNAP/EBT market offering healthy and affordable produce and foods to those in need.
The market is open each Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Club Square in downtown Cape Coral, at Southeast 47th Terrace and Southeast 10th Place. Admission and parking are free.