By Marie Sova
Live music has been part of the Saratoga Farmers Market since its founding in 1978. It nearly disappeared during the COVID-19 pandemic when social distance protocols discouraged shoppers from spending time at the market. Now, however, live music is back, and market regulars, visitors, vendors, and even the musicians themselves love it more than ever.
Market musicians don’t do it strictly for the money. They’re paid with tips from vendors and customers and gifts of goods from the vendors.
They do it to showcase their talents, sell CDs, and promote their upcoming events. But they also do it for the love of connecting with others.
Chloe Sova is one such musician. She performed at the market for the first time this summer. “I was excited for the experience… and very happy with how it went,” Chloe remembers. While she was singing there was a semi-circle of kids in front of her eating and dancing along. She remembers, “One little boy had a ukulele with him and played along- I just knew that this moment would be a lasting one for me, the little boy, and his parents.”
Customers also appreciate the opportunity to listen to live music as Linda Allen says, the market not only offers great local food but also “amazing, local talent.” For Allen, the musicians “Give the market a relaxing atmosphere.”
On Wednesday markets, one artist or small group of musicians will be under the pavilion. On Saturday’s market, there are two separate groups or artists in different locations.
Some artists return again and again because they enjoy playing at the market. Running the River has performed at the farmers’ market for 14 years. The group can be found strumming guitars and playing violin on the first Saturday of every month during the outdoor season.
“What is unique about the Saratoga Farmers Market is the permanent fixture of the pavilion, which makes it very much like a home or residence for vendors, attendees, and musicians alike. That sense of rootedness lends itself naturally to being able to play our music for people who come specifically for that unique atmosphere,” explains Neil Yetwin.
Some upcoming artists include Thomas Powers, Classical guitarist Maria Zematauski, Caffe Lena Music School, L.B. Walker, and Ethan Crowley.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market is open on Wednesdays from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. at High Rock Park in downtown Saratoga. Find us online at www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, where you can sign up for our weekly newsletter, and follow us on Facebook and Instagram @SaratogaFarmersMarket.