by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL
Every year the July edition of On-the-Town, the arts and entertainment magazine of West Michigan, published monthly by Advance BCI Inc., announces their Townie Awards.
Each year the magazine’s readers are asked to think local and vote for their favorites in multiple categories. Readers are asked where they like to eat, where they like to shop, and who they think is best at what they do. You name it, this year the Townie Awards were comprised of 48 categories such as Best Burger, Best Museum, Best Clothing Store and many, many more. Simply put, it’s a popular vote. Whoever gets the most votes wins. Two awards are presented in each category, one gold and one silver.
In the Best Farmers Market category, the magazine’s readers cast enough votes for Rockford’s farmers market to garner the silver Townie Award. Grand Rapids’ Fulton Street Farmers Market took the gold.
This is high praise indeed for the Rockford Farm Market, especially so when you consider Rockford’s trail and riverside jewel of a farm market was competing against the likes of Grand Rapids’ venerable and iconic Fulton Street Farmers Market, the oldest and largest farm market in West Michigan.
So with this in mind, allow us to “preach to the choir” by reminding Squire readers that the Rockford Farm Market is also entered in a much more prestigious contest, that being the 2011 America’s Favorite Farm Market contest sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. Four farm markets, based upon market size (boutique, small, medium, and large), will be able to boast themselves as America’s Favorite Farm Markets. Rockford is entered in the medium-size market category.
Let’s go, Squire readers. You’re all tech savvy and very intelligent people. After all, you read the Squire, don’t you? Let’s show our pride in all things Rockford and cast our votes for our hometown market for this signal award.
Simply go to www.farmland.org/vote to cast your vote. (No time, or need a little help? Ask your computer-hip kid. They’ll know how to do it.) Or simply stop at the Lions Club’s Market Master booth while you are shopping the Rockford Farm Market on Saturdays between now and August 31 to register your name and e-mail address, and a vote will be cast for you. Easy, with no strings attached!