By MEGHAN McCOY
The opening day of the Cape Coral Farmer's Market brought out crowds of people and their four legged friends Saturday morning to take advantage of the many vendors who brought such things as fresh fruit and vegetables, baked goods, seafood and flowers.
Marianne and Bob Helmle check out the tomatoes at Gallegos Farm Fresh stand during the opening Saturday of the Cape Coral Farmer's Market in Club Square. More photos are available online at: cu.cape-coral-daily-breeze.com.
Forest Walker, who has been a part of the Farmer's Market for 10 years selling fresh vegetables and fruit, said Saturday was off to a steady start.
"We have been very steady," he said. "Always something to do haven't had a chance to stop yet."
The produce that he sells is 99 percent locally grown in such places as Alva and Lehigh. He said it is grown right around the block.
"We try to get everything local," Walker said.
Ralph's Island Seafood from Fort Myers Beach also had a tent set up at the Farmer's Market selling fresh fish, seafood salad and soups.
Terry Townley said they have been a part of the market for four years. She said her and her family enjoy the market because it is big, well organized and offers a variety to the customers.
The market, Townley said typically picks up between 9:30 and 10 a.m.
"It's great," she said about the turnout Saturday morning. "Everyone is happy. Customers that live here love it."
The market, Townley said, is a social gathering place as well.
Karen Leverette has attended the Farmer's Market for many years to purchase fruits, vegetables and flowers, along with taking the opportunity to chat with others in attendance.
"It's nice talking to people and visiting with everyone," she said about the vendors and other shoppers.
Leverette said the market is a destination spot due to it being outside with nice music.
"It is fabulous," she said. "I love it."
When the Farmer's Market ceases in late spring, Leverette attends the organic market at Rumrunner's for her produce.
Kay Antonowicz said the atmosphere and ability to mingle with friends is what keeps her coming back to the Farmer's Market every year.
"I love getting the fresh vegetables, especially my tomatoes," she said.
Antonowicz also enjoys buying flowers every Saturday because they last up to four weeks. She said that she has vases all over her house from her weekend trips to the market.
During the off season she also travels to Rumrunner's to buy her tomatoes.
The Farmer's Market will be held through May 12 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Club Square in downtown Cape Coral located at Southeast 47th Terrace and Southeast 10th Place.