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Federal Way Farmers Market opening Saturday after tough year

The market was down 35% in revenue in 2020. It's set to reopen on Saturday in the back parking lot of The Commons at Federal Way mall.

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. — Organizers are hoping the Federal Way Farmer's Market bounces back after a challenging year in 2020.

The market is set to open on Saturday in the back parking lot of The Commons at Federal Way mall. More than 40 vendors are expected for opening day, something one of the owners said is a welcome change from last year.

"Quite a few of the vendors are mentioning that we are so thankful that we are able to have a venue to be able to sell our merchandise," said Rose Ehl, co-owner of the Federal Way Farmer's Market.

In 2020, the market was down 35% in revenue compared to 2019. There were days when 20 or fewer vendors were at the market and attendance numbers were very low, Ehl said. 

This year the market is hosting new events in addition to bringing back some old traditions to draw more visitors.

The market will host a "Federal Way's Got Talent" competition once a month. The winners will be able to perform at the market's "Tase of Federal Way" event in September. 

"We've never done anything like this before," Ehl said.

The city is also partnering with the market for an event called "Shop Local Federal Way," which will highlight local businesses during the market with different themes each month. Health and fitness businesses will be featured in May and restaurants in June.

"We would just appreciate [visitors] supporting our local market and our farmers because our farmers were hurt during this crisis too," Ehl said.

This year visitors can take food to go or eat in a designated safe area inside the market this year. 

Due to construction, the market's location has been moved from the front parking lot of the mall to the back parking lot off 324th Street.