The all-new Tiverton Farmers Market got off to a fantastic start as hundreds of people flocked to Saturday’s launch event to enjoy more than 50 stalls and lots more.
Over 25 local food and drink producers filled the historic Tiverton Pannier Market building and beyond, complemented by around 25 artists, crafters, makers and other traders in gazebos, wooden units and undercover.
Visitors were also able to meet two adorable Shetland ponies from Devon charity Munchkins Miniature Shetland Rescue and take in live music from local singing trio In Harmony and upbeat folk band Castletown.
Farmers markets will take place on the first Saturday of every month, from 9am to 2pm, with regulars including Andrew King Chocolates, Exe Valley Brewery and Rull Orchard.
Jim Bray, market manager, said: “We were keen to get off to a powerful start and I think we achieved it.
“It was lovely to see so many people of all ages coming together and enjoying themselves, brimming with enthusiasm about the chance to meet local producers and buy local food, drink and produce.
“They were also able to browse a fantastic array of artisan stalls in designated areas we’ve called Makers Row and Creative Corner.
“The whole site was buzzing with activity, the atmosphere was terrific and the feedback from traders, visitors and people involved with other markets has been excellent.
“We’re keen to keep up the momentum for our Christmas Special on Saturday 4 December, when we’ll be hosting a Santa’s Grotto among other things, and into the new year, when we’ll add further themes.
“Don’t forget – you can see lots of the traders present at the weekend at our general markets every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.”
There was a fresh look and feel to the market on Saturday, not just with food and drink dominating the building and artisans stalls surrounding it.
A number of new features were introduced which will benefit the market long-term, including new signage thanks to Ken White Signs and local artist Jo Mortimer, four milk churn planters and several topiary plants.
The addition of 30 new tables will enable the market to host further big events in future, to include communal seating areas.
There is no let-up in the action as the market hosts two further Ready for Christmas Markets on Saturday 13 and 20 November.
Then follows a series of Christmas Markets on four successive Saturdays – 27 November and 4, 11 and 18 December.
Each one will feature 30-plus stalls, gifts galore, live music, street food and festive fun, with free parking in the multi-storey.
The market is also hosting The Great Western Teddy Bear Fair on Sunday 28 November and the Tiverton Christmas Craft and Gift Fair on Sunday 5 December, while it is organising a Christmas Card Competition where all entries will be displayed around the building.