Shoppers flock to farmers market's opening day

Market regulars Dennis and Kimberly Glore immediately noticed a difference from the market of the past.

"It's actually better than last year," said Dennis Glore, of North Augusta. "There's a whole lot more produce, which is the only reason we come."

Under the management of Brooke Buxton, a vendor from New Life Food Stores, the Augusta Market at the River, formerly the Saturday Market on the River will have longer hours and a longer season.

Other activities, such as bike rides, health and nutrition seminars and entertainment, are planned.

At the season opener Saturday, vendors sold produce, flowers, purses, jewelry and other homemade pieces.

Shoppers could also grab a bite, choosing from Middle Eastern, cajun and other cuisines, in addition to sipping the homemade lemonade that keeps the Glores coming back.

"There seems to be a lot more excitement down at the market," said Paulette Black, a longtime vendor for Paulette's Best Food, in Waynesboro, Ga. "Everybody's excited -- the vendors, the patrons. And the city even seems to be more excited."

Black also noticed the turnout was much larger than usual.

Jeanne McGee was there as a vendor, but she wasn't selling food or homemade items. As president of Greyhound Friends of Augusta, she was selling greyhounds.

Children and adults flocked to the pets up for adoption.

"We love coming to the market like this because people who wouldn't normally see a greyhound can see them up close and see what great pets they are," she said.

Denny Trousdale, whose sister lives in Augusta, traveled from Bryson City, N.C., to sell his custom-made deck and patio coolers.

"The setting is wonderful," Trousdale said. "I've been to a couple of other settings, and this is probably one of the nicest."

Trousdale said even though the trip is long, he hopes to come back at least once a month.

If you go

What: Augusta Market at the River

WHEN: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through Oct. 30

WHERE: Eighth Street Plaza off Reynolds Street

FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.theaugustamarket.com