The Bend Farmer’s Market opened for the season Wednesday, drawing crowds and bringing vendors from all over Center Oregon to downtown Bend.
The market changed its hours this year to an earlier schedule, raising questions among vendors.
“We just didn’t know what to expect,” vendor with North 44 Farm Ethan O’brien said. “It was good for us as a business to have the change in hours because it allowed us to get organized earlier in the day and leave. We just didn’t know how many people would turn up, but today’s been fantastic.”
Bend Farmer’s Market board member Amy Vanderlaan says the changes are due to opinion surveys they conducted that showed “almost unanimous” favor for an earlier schedule.
The market’s Facebook page says “We made the decision to change the market hours due to the increased summer heat and the smoke concerns through fire season.”
The market used to open at 2 p.m. and close at 6 p.m. It now opens at 11 a.m. and closes at 3 p.m.
Some patrons are fine with the new schedule.
“I think it’s good because I’m tired and retired, so I can ride my bike down here and hang out with my friends,” market patron Paul Bishop said.
For others, the new schedule isn’t ideal.
“I work until 3 at a breakfast spot, so I can’t make it usually unless I get off early. I feel it caters more towards the more wealthier folks in the community who either work from home or retired who have lots of savings so they don’t have to work during the day. I hope it shifts back or stays open later,” market patron Kailyn Bailey said.
The Bend Farmer’s Market is open every Wednesday through October 11.