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Season Ends For Downtown Farmers Market
Escalon Farmer Delfas Garden still drew customers to the Riverbank Certified Farmers Market on its final night of the summer season, Aug. 31. Ric McGinnis/The News

Riverbank’s version of the Certified Farmers Market has ended for the season.

At its height, the weekly event included many free activities such as Movie Night, a free Bounce House, youth activities sponsored by the city Parks and Recreation Department, and, on a couple of different dates, free swimming provided through the city.

Another free event each Wednesday was the Concert in the Park, most weeks featuring a different musician or group. Performers ranged from Totally Frank, a solo artist who performed last week at the final show, to the Fun Strummers, a (mostly) ukulele group that performed on Senior Night at the Farmers Market.

Singer/guitarist Paul Espinosa, known more as a member of Golden Bough, brought his acoustic pop, rock and folk songs to the Community Center Park stage twice this summer.

Riverbank Police Services, along with other public service agencies, hosted a youth bicycle safety fair, where they gave away helmets and had drawings for a couple of bikes to present to local youths who participated.

Several food vendors participated throughout the summer, offering tasty, tempting fare from funnel cakes and hamburgers, to kettle korn and tacos.

Regular visitors to the weekly event were a group of loosely affiliated classic car buffs who also brought their vehicles to display. For a time, there was a weekly vote being tabulated, seeking to name a fan favorite from among the restored and hot rod cars.

Delfa’s Garden, a certified fruit and vegetable grower from Escalon, was a regular at the market.

The Riverbank Chamber of Commerce was the sponsor of the event, which had its start in 2003. It has always been held on Wednesdays.

This year, there was an ambitious schedule set out.

The market and its associated events began on May 18 with an opening night and was scheduled to continue through Sept. 7 and include the complete library of Marvel Studios superhero films, show in order on succeeding weeks.

Even though sometimes it was pretty hot, with temperatures well over 100, and others, with the breeze picking up after dark, pretty cool, the free movie show still went on.

On the first day of school in Riverbank though, Aug. 10, the audience for the movie dwindled to zero. With it being a school night and the movies running to about 10 p.m., that was the first Wednesday without the evening show after the market closed.

Market Manager Garnette Martin said the event will have a shorter run next year. To avoid conflicts with activities at the end of the school year, or others when school begins again, she said the Concerts in the Park/Certified Farmers Market/Family Night Out is scheduled to run only in June and July.