By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY – Staff Writer
Spring is here and the Running Springs farmers market has started up again for a weekly showcase of fresh veggies and fruits through Nov. 18, weather permitting.
The Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual Easter egg hunt occurred in conjunction with the opening day of the Running Springs Farmers Market and Artisan Faire on Saturday, April 8. The farmers market was held in the parking lot of the bank this first week, since the field where the marketplace is usually held was still under three feet of snow, so they creatively used that space for the Easter egg hunt.
Five farmers arrived with a bountiful array of fruits, veggies, microgreens and herbs. The other 20 vendors had juices, honey, guacamole, jams, salsas, hot sauces, dips, salad mixes and yogurts of every flavor and taste. Crestline resident Aaron Creighton said those yogurts were the best and can also be found at the Thursday night Twin Peaks farmers market.
The pastured-raised eggs were naturally colored in many shades of blues, greens, yellows, pinks and other colors, too, and advertised as already colored for Easter. There was also fresh bread, hot chocolate and coffee. There was a tamale guy and a Mexican food truck.
The artisans offered toys, jewelry and other products. There were fewer vendors than usual on this first day because of the snow limiting the space available and space needed for the egg hunt. Market Manager Cathy Clemons says they should have enough space next week, if the snow melts, to have space for all 50 vendors signed up and they will be set up on the field next Saturday. Next weekend, if there is still enough snow of the correct texture, they will also hold a snow sculpture contest, said Clemons.
Some of the vendors, such as JC Custom Wood products, were at the market last year and are happy to return. He custom makes many cute items and signs from wood and applies a marine shiny surface to make the items weather safe. He also plans a booth at the Crestline Market at Lake Gregory, when it opens in May, since he lives in Crestline.
I-Boutique Customs by Katy offers custom printed coffee cups, tumblers, insulated water bottles, wood and metal earrings and keychains in her booth. Katy is a 1999 Rim graduate who, in her regular job, works as a nurse in a hospital. At the Flowers of the Mountain booth, Charlene and Era Bermudez from Cedarpines Park make jewelry from beautiful wildflowers they find while hiking local trails and encase them beautifully in resin to make necklaces, earrings and other items. They also will be at the Crestline Market this summer.
On many Saturdays during the season, the farmers market will have a special theme and live music. April 22 will celebrate Earth Day, May 13 is Mother’s Day weekend, on May 20, they will honor first responders, May 27 is Memorial Day weekend and June 17 is Father’s Day weekend.
The Easter egg hunt took place at 11 a.m. with three separate sections for the kids aged 1 to 12 years of age, separated into ages 1 to 4, 5 to 8 and 9 and above. Each section had five eggs of the 2,000, which were stuffed by community volunteers, that, instead of containing candy, contained a paper saying “prize.” At the chamber booth were 15 large Squishmallows and the children who got the prize eggs could choose their favorite to take home with them. Squishmallows are currently a very popular pillow toy, beloved by children. They were donated by the Running Springs Fire Department.
Ronan, age 5, who is in TK at Charles Hoffman Elementary School in Running Springs, was all smiles as he chose his Squishmallow. Rachael O’Neill, 7, was totally excited and almost jumping up and down over her prize. Brother Malaika, 3, and sister Luna, 4, were fortunate enough to both get a prize ticket and said they had lots of fun at the egg hunt. Sadie, 9, who was visiting Crestline for the weekend from Placentia, also was a prize winner and said they come to visit Crestline often each summer and enjoy it up here. She was happy to also win, as she hugged her prize. Two other children who took home Squishmallow prizes were Maxon, 8, and Maxwell Freeman, 7, of Valley of Enchantment. It was a great day filled with happy parents and children.
The Easter egg hunt occurred with the eggs spread on top of the packed snow on the field located between the bank and the library. The sunshine was out and there was no wind, so the kids, although warmly dressed, didn’t need to bundle up in heavy jackets, although most were wearing snow boots. The chamber is also inviting kids to find eggs at local businesses for the next week or until all the eggs are found.
The free egg hunt was sponsored by the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce, the Running Springs Fire Department, Pali Mountain, Rustic Arts Cabin Outfitters, the Somes Family and community volunteers.
The Running Springs Farmers Market and Artisan Faire is located at 2645 Whispering Pines Drive and will continue to run through Nov. 18, weather permitting, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m.