City of Perrysburg

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Celebrating 25 years of the Perrysburg Farmers Market

May 21, 2024

The Perrysburg Farmers Market celebrated its 25th anniversary with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 16, one week after the official opening of the market. The celebration was delayed due to rainy weather on May 8. 

The original market was started in 1999 with just six vendors along one block of Louisiana Avenue. Today it has grown to more than 60 merchants, 15 of them are farmers. The rest of the vendors specialize in everything from plants to baked goods, personal care items, snacks, textiles, art, and much more. There are also 20 food trucks that line Third Street.  

Man in blue shirt and woman in blue dress holding flowers“When we moved back into the area six years ago, I was shocked that it was still going on and that it had grown much,” said Vicki Stouffer, who was director of the Perrysburg Convention and Visitors Bureau when the market first started.  

“I wanted to do the market so that people would have a reason to come to Perrysburg and enjoy it as much as I did and my family did,” Stouffer said. 

Stouffer had been working on the idea with support from the City of Perrysburg, Downtown Merchants Association, county extension agents, and the Agricultural Business Enhancement Center in Bowling Green. 

Five of the original vendors attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony, including Diane Rogers who sold homemade pies and other food items, Ackerman’s Berry Farm, GardenView Flowers, Jeffers Greenhouse, and Bench Farms. Four of them are still with the Farmers Market today. 

“When we first started here, they’d beg people to walk by and it took about six to seven years to develop into something. And now we’re the premiere market,” said Cindy Bench, owner of Bench Farms. “We appreciate each and every one of you who support us and continue to support us.” 

Also in attendance were Jon Orser who was Perrysburg Mayor when the first market opened, Visit Perrysburg Board President Gerri Walczak, employees from the City of Perrysburg, and the new Director of Visit Perrysburg Josh Johnson who will begin his new role on June 10. 

Several dignitaries gave remarks at the ceremony. Councilman Barry Vanhoozen read a proclamation from Senator J.D. Vance, Mayor Tom Mackin read a proclamation from the City of Perrysburg, State Representative Haraz Ghanbari read remarks from the Ohio House of Representatives, and Councilman Mark Weber who has been volunteering as interim director of Visit Perrysburg. 

“What really makes this market is the farmers, other vendors and crafters, who show us what they can do and share it with the rest of us,” Weber said. 

“It’s not just an event that brings people together, but it highlights what a community can do when it works together to bring something to the community that adds value, is enjoyable, and is something we’re proud of,” Mackin said. 

“It’s great to be here in my hometown to celebrate the generational investment that many volunteers have made to make sure that our farmers market is the premiere farmers market in northwest Ohio,” said Ghanbari. 

The Farmers Market runs every Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. May 9 through October 10 along Louisiana Avenue in Downtown Perrysburg. Music at the Market starts June 6 at 7 p.m. in the Commodore Schoolyard located at the corner of Louisiana and Indiana and runs through the end of August. Learn more about the Perrysburg Farmers Market on the Visit Perrysburg website.

Group of people holding ribbon