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Farmers Market brings fruits, veggies and fun to Skansie Park starting this week

Posted on June 4th, 2024 By:

First, the bad news: A couple of the most popular vendors at the Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market couldn’t return this year, one due to retirement and another because of a changing family situation.

But the good news: 33 brand-new vendors will fill the void at the popular market, which launches Thursday, June 6. A total of 67 will rotate through during the market’s 12-week summer run, with an average of 43 every week. That includes a number of local favorites.

The market’s opening day is from 1 to 6 p.m. Thursday at Skansie Brothers Park along the downtown waterfront. It continues every Thursday through the end of August, with the exception of the Fourth of July. 

The Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market opened Thursday, June 1, 2023.

Local vendors

Farmers Market manager Clare Dunis said Simpler Homestead, one of the top produce vendors at the market the past few years, was unable to return this season due to a family situation. And the proprietor of Yellow Belly Farms, a seller of honey products, retired.

Plenty of others stepped forward to take their place, thanks to Dunis’ recruiting efforts.

Tacoma-based Taylors Honey Farm and Gig Harbor’s own Shipwreck Honey will keep the market buzzing with bee products. And several agricultural vendors — from Central Washington-based Cazares Farms and Aguilar Farms to locals like Blooming Isle Farm — will keep shoppers flush with fruits and veggies.

The market focused on bringing in local farmers this year.

“Farming in this area can be really quite a challenge when you look at things like the affordability of land, the ability to keep it agricultural and our weather here versus the other side of the Cascades,” Dunis said. “It can be a challenge. When I have found local famers here, I’ve been really trying to network with them.” 

The 2023 Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market opened Thursday, June 1.

Harbor Fish Company 

Also joining the market this year is The Harbor Fish Company. The Gig Harbor-based company will sell a variety of fresh frozen Alaska seafood, smoked salmon products and more.

“It’s something we’ve definitely been thinking about and interested in,” said Alex James, co-owner of Harbor Seafood with Zach Worrell. “We’re in Gig Harbor and our vision for this small business has been to provide high-quality seafood directly to our community.”

Harbor Seafood mostly sells direct to customer, with products also available at a selection of local retail outlets. It participates in two other farmers markets in the region, but debuts at its hometown market this year.

“We hope it provides a great opportunity for folks to really purchase high quality seafood in a little fishing town,” James said.

Food accessibility 

Increasing awareness and use of various food accessibility programs was a priority this year for the Gig Harbor Downtown Waterfront Alliance, which organizes the market.

“We’ve really doubled down on our food access programs at this year’s market,” Dunis said, “so we can make those benefits (of fresh, locally produced food) available to more people in our community.”

The Gig Harbor Waterfront Farmers Market opened Thursday, June 1, 2023.

The market participates in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) Market Match program. The program allows people who qualify for SNAP/EBT benefits to get up to $25 per market day in matching funds to purchase fresh vegetables, fruits and herbs; mushrooms; and seeds or plants that produce food.

Benefits are also available for people who qualify for the Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program; and the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program.

New this year is the SUN Bucks Program, providing nutritional benefits to children who lose access to school lunch during the summer months. Families can spend those benefits on the healthy foods available at the market.


Parking is always an issue for events, like the market, that draw crowds to downtown Gig Harbor.

The market included a link to the city’s parking map on its website. Trolly service will help customers get to and from the market between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. between July 11 and Aug. 29. And organizers encourage people to use the new Runner service that debuted in Gig Harbor on March 31.

Dunis said the Alliance also plans to stage a trial run of shuttle service during August. They are still determining the route, but the Kimball Park and Ride likely will be the nexus of the market-focused shuttle.

“Hopefully we can ease a little of that congestion or concern around that parking in the immediate vicinity” with the shuttle service, Dunis said.


Local groups The Gigsters and Spare Thyme will play the market’s opening day. Find a schedule of upcoming performers here.

Dunis said the market is always looking for more acts to play the stage at Skansie Brothers during the market. Anyone interested should email her at [email protected].

“We would love to have more community-based musical groups join up, even those that aren’t necessarily professionals,” Dunis said. “The community is coming out to celebrate local produce, local talent and (people) can really linger longer.”