If there’s one word to describe Saturday’s Grand Opening of the Wildwood Farmers Market, it would be refreshing. Refreshing for the obvious reasons (fresh produce and flowers), but also for the refreshing change of pace from the typical Wildwood joint.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m old-school Wildwood. I yearn for the sounds and smells (well, most smells) of the Wildwood boardwalk: the barkers trying to relieve me of my last few bucks (“Easy as pie, 3 balls in the bushel basket wins choice of prize!”), the carnival music emanating from the Moreys’ Piers rides, the cacophony of voices from the (mostly) happy vacationers. And boardwalk pizza, of course! Still, Wildwood is transforming for the better, and the Wildwood Farmers Market is a great example of said transformation.
The Farmers Market 2015
Short Video of the Wildwood Farmer’s Market
There were several reasons that the word refreshing best describes the 2015 Wildwood Farmer’s Market. Here’s just a few of them.
I parked about a block away from the farmers market, and immediately tuned in the the acoustic sounds of Bill & Alicia (Bill Caterini and Alicia Cacci Caprioni) — amazingly resonant and full-sounding for just two voices and one guitar. The duo set a great ambiance for the whole event.
PeopleThe crowd was larger that I expected, but not so large that I felt cramped. Everyone present seemed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, happy to be out on a beautiful Saturday spring morning. The happy energy was palpable. Many of the city leaders were attending (Pat Rosenello, Ernie Troiano, Pete Byron). They all were content to be taking a break from the demanding and mostly thankless job of running our city. The Wildwood Business Improvement District was present as well, handing out free tote bags (I came too late and missed mine — darn!) and new Doo Wildwood magnets. [Note: Free totes and magnets are available each week. Get there early while supplies last!]
The vendors proved the antithesis of boardwalk vendors. Where boardwalk vendors can often be abrupt and “all business”, the vendors at the farmers market were friendly, talkative, and full of smiles. Like I said, refreshing.
Products ranged from fresh produce (I purchased a pint of cherries that were to die for), fresh cut flowers and plants, nuts (try the wasabi peas — full of flavor and not too spicy), wine and pizza (yes, pizza — this is Wildwood, you know) and other prepared foods (Alumni Grille had a great brunch menu, by the way — you should check it out). There were other items as well. Over the course of the summer we’ll try to highlight some of them for you.
It’s true, Pacific Avenue has a ways to go to match it’s glory during the 70s and early 80s (what locals call “before the mall”). That said, it’s this author’s opinion that “the strip” is transforming itself into a great alternative to the Wildwood beach and boardwalk. Events like the Wildwood Farmers Market as well as businesses like Alumni Grille, Cattle & Clover, The Deck, and Zippy’s Bikes (they sell great summer bikes — new and used) have proven that Pacific Avenue can once again be a destination for tourists and locals alike.
New Doo Wildwood Magnet
If you are interested in a free Doo Wildwood magnet (see photo), fill out the quick survey form. We’ll be giving away one per week to those of you who do (for as long as supplies last).