by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Listen up people. When the fat lady sings next Wednesday evening (Aug. 31) at 12:00 a.m. midnight, the America’s Favorite Farmers Markets contest will be over. Rockford Farm Market has been tenaciously clinging to the lead in this nationwide contest for the past eight weeks. Not only do we lead overall in all market size categories, more importantly, we also lead in our small market size category. Our opponent, Venice, Fla., is wily. Their strategy in this contest, these past many weeks, is to hang just behind Rockford in vote totals and then overnight close the gap. We are fearful of what might occur in the final hours of voting on August 31. Remember we are talking about Florida, the state of the “hanging chads.” To those of you who have already voted, either online at www.farmland.org/vote or personally during recent Saturday morning visits to the voting site at Rockford Farm Market, we thank you ever so much. However, your support is still needed in these final days and hours of the contest. We ask you to use your considerable social media networking skills to reach out to any and everyone to also cast their votes for Rockford’s great farm market. What would really put us over the top is if every organization (you know who you are) in the greater Rockford community that annually asks for support for their various causes would return the favor by reaching out to their supporters to, in turn, support the City of Rockford-sponsored farm market. This contest has become somewhat more than farm market versus farm market. It has somehow morphed into a state-versus-state competition of bragging rights, with two farm markets in Michigan (Rockford and the U.P.’s Manistique) vying for titles in their respective market size categories against two farm markets in Florida (Venice and North Port). We ourselves like to think of this as a contest between “Pure Michigan” and “Alligator Alley.” For Rockford and Manistique, this has been an unbelievable and improbable journey. The Michigan cities are the Davids versus the Goliaths down south. For Rockford itself, surely our commitment to excellence and winning combined with our giving and generous natures will result in the supportive peoples of the […]
August 25 2011
America’s Favorite Farmers Market contest vote totals as of 11 p.m. Monday, August 22, 2011: (note market size categories) small mkt. – Rockford Farm Market – 3947 Venice, FL – 3586 large mkt. – Las Cruces, NM – 3442 New Braunfels, TX – 3164 medium mkt. – Lewes, DE –1096 Saratoga, NY –1018 boutique mkt. – North Port, FL – 2590 Manistique, MI –2179
By Drew Kerr And Dave Mitchells Editor’s note: Football fans can now enjoy coverage of our local sports in a whole new way. Former Rockford football players Drew Kerr and Dave Mitchells bring you Friday Night Lights Experience in which they will share their impressions of the venues Rams visit during the football season. Enjoy! Every night and every day we awake to the same consistent message from the media. It’s bad news, whether it’s the economy in turmoil, or the resounding thump of some other bad event, the media, twitter, google or whatever the source seems to bring it to us. With so much bad news it’s hard to remember the good sometimes. But not this time. It’s Friday and with every fall we have one consistent feeling that we all like—football, baby! Are you ready for some football? The weather is changing, the grass is being cut, the fields are lined and the ball is kicked. We are bringing you Friday Night Lights Experience and we are going to help you find the place you need to be each Friday night of the football season. Each and every week this season we’ll be looking out for you and where you need to be to see the Friday Night Lights Experience. We will pick the game of the week, and its not just the teams playing that make the game but the whole experience. We’ll rate the atmosphere of the crowds, the pride of the student body, the menus for the concession stands and oh yeah, the teams playing. And with that, we’ll be able to tell you who has what it takes to make the FNLE. That being said, this week’s pick is the Rockford Rams vs. the Lowell Red Arrows game. These two powerhouses haven’t met in almost four decades and they are going to strap their chinstraps on for a head-to-head battle of bragging rights. There is no other place to be but Lowell and by the way, it’s a Thursday game due to the holiday schedule. So prepare yourself for a year of excitement and experience as we give you the Friday Night Lights Experience!