The Maryville Farmers Market is preparing to start operating at 7:30 am, Saturday, May 6 at the parking lot at Buchanan and Fourth Streets, Maryville.

The weekly Saturday market will feature locally-grown food by local vendors along with homemade and repurposed items. Farmers market committee member Sam Mason is expecting asparagus, hot house tomatoes, early season vegetables, bedding plants and more at the first market.

The first market will be free for vendors and setup starts at 6:30 am. Sales to consumers start at 7:30 am and no early sales will be allowed. The event will end at noon or when vendors run out of produce.

The farmers market is again sponsored by the Maryville Host Lions. The cost to vendors, after the first Saturday of the season, is $10 each Saturday. Mason said that the market broke even during its first year.

He said he is expecting the market to grow from the 10 to 12 vendors that participated each week last year to 15 to 20 vendors this year. The last Saturday of the month will feature flea market-type vendors along with the regulars.

The Host Lions is planning to arrange some early morning entertainment at the markets this season and T-shirts and shopping bags with the Maryville Farmers Market logo are going to be sold.

The group is looking at having a permanent archway constructed proclaiming the parking lot as the Maryville Farmers Market.

The Host Lions Club has also worked with Maryville Public Safety Director Keith Woods to have permanent “no parking after midnight on Friday” signs put up. Vehicles still in the lot at 6 am on Saturday mornings will be towed at the owner’s expense.

Mason said the benefits of having the farmers market at the current location are:

• Many Maryville consumers are able to walk, bike or run to the centrally-located site.

• Parking is convenient along the street or in the city-owned gravel parking lot across the street to the east.

• It helps promote the downtown and Fourth Street corridor.

The Host Lions Club is considering using youth organization members as volunteers to carry items to customer vehicles and provide other assistance. Adult sponsors can reach out on the Facebook page, Maryville Farmers Market, for more information.

The mission statement of the Maryville Farmers Market is to provide people within the region with fresh produce and to promote a healthy lifestyle and locally-sourced food.