The Arnold Farmers Market will not return to its regular home at Arnold City Park for at least three more weeks, according to city officials.
The market has been held at the Arnold Recreation Center, 1695 Missouri State Road, since it opened for the season on May 4, and it will be held there again Saturday (June 1). The market is held from 8 a.m. to noon every Saturday through Oct. 19.
Typically, the market is held at the front of Arnold City Park, which is off Jeffco Boulevard near the Meramec River, but the park has been closed since May 3 because of flooding. The river is predicted to crest at 41.9 feet by Wednesday (June 5), according to the National Weather Service website today.
“The good news is the market area is one of the first areas to dry when the water recedes, but we have no idea what will be left behind and how long it will take to clean,” City Administrator Bryan Richison said. “For the next three weekends (June 1, 8 and 15), we will not be able to have the market at the park, and realistically, it could be longer than that.”
The market was held on the parking lot near the outdoor pool at the rec center for the first three Saturdays this year, and it moved to the rec center’s upper parking lot for May 25.
The market is expected to stay on the rec center upper parking lot until it returns to its regular spot at Arnold City Park, city officials said.
“It has not been terrible for us,” Farmers Market manager Teresa Kohut said. “I think it is even better now that we are on the upper parking lot near the rec center so people coming in and out see it. I think we are more visible and people think about us more often.”
Kohut said 20 vendors sold their wares at the market last week, and she anticipates having close to 30 vendors Saturday (June 1).
“Our vendors are staying pretty loyal to us,” Kohut said. “I think the customers appreciate the efforts the farmers are making to come, even though some of them are dealing with floodwaters too.”
Kohut said some visitors to the market have commented that Arnold should always hold the market in a rec center parking lot.
“I think they like it so much because it is very available to them, and I think some people don’t know how awesome the Farmers Market is,” Kohut said. “Now that they have been able to see it, they are like, ‘I want to come every week.’”
Kohut said parking has not been a problem for those visiting the market or the rec center over the past few weeks.
“The market is located on the upper-most lot, and most people like to park on the first or second level,” Kohut said. “We also have some swim lessons at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., and they are coming to the market because it is here.”
Kohut said she is happy the market has been going well, but she wants to see it return to its regular home.
“We can’t wait to be back at Arnold City Park,” Kohut said. “It is such an idyllic, pleasant setting by the trees and river. It is beautiful and a shame it is underwater right now.”