Second 'Taste of the Market' to raise funds for Farmers' Market pavilion

Friday, July 31, 2009 | 12:01 a.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — More than 60 chefs and Columbia Farmers' Market vendors will participate in the second annual "Taste of the Market"  on Saturday to raise money for the Farmers' Market Pavilion campaign.

The event will take place from 6 to 11 p.m. Saturday at the Columbia Farmers' Market site across from the Activity and Recreation Center on the corner of Ash and Clinkscales streets. It will feature locally grown and prepared foods, live music, a wine tasting, children’s activities and an outdoor showing of the documentary "Good Food."

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children 12 and younger. Donations are welcome, said Casey Corbin, executive director of Sustainable Farms and Communities, an organization raising money to build a permanent home for the Columbia Farmers' Market and create a new space for other community events.

The pavilion campaign is unlike many capital campaigns because many steps have already been taken to prepare for construction, Corbin said. Surveys, conceptual drawings and architectural work has been completed, and the site plans have been approved by the city's Planning and Zoning Commission, he said.

The capital campaign was officially formed in December 2008, but people have been raising money for two years. Just under $300,000 has been raised so far, with the goal of another $2.5 million in the next two to three years, Corbin said.

“Whether major donors step forward within the year, or we fundraise for two or three years, once we raise the funds, we are ready to break ground,” Corbin said.

Last year, the "Taste of the Market" drew a crowd of more than 2,000 people, even though it was a new event.

"That’s unheard of in event-planning," Corbin said.

The Columbia Farmers' Market also saw record-breaking crowds this summer, Corbin said. On Saturday, July 18, 6,700 people visited the Farmers' Market, he said.

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