Market night

Vendors at a market night last August near the Banning Community Center.

The latest incarnation of a market night in downtown Banning is scheduled to resume a week from Thursday on Feb. 21. from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., and continues every first and third Thursday evening in the parking lot adjacent to Brew Rebellion along San Gorgonio Avenue.

A few weeks later a daytime farmer’s market will start up in the north parking lot of San Gorgonio Memorial Hospital, every Tuesday between 8 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., at the corner of Wilson Street and Highland Springs Avenue.

The hospital’s farmer’s market has been in the works for awhile, to focus on organic produce and fresh greens, and maybe flowers, according to the hospital’s chief nursing officer Pat Brown, who coordinated the event with clinical dietician Jean Kielhold.

Many of the vendors participate in a certified farmer’s market in San Jacinto, according to Brown.

The hospital’s staff worked with the city of Banning to support the city’s Healthy Cities initiative.

“It will be strictly a farmer’s market. There won’t be any booths selling helicopter helmets,” Brown joked. “We want to focus on health and nutrition,” and says that vendors for the farmer’s market will accept SNAP and WIC supplements.

So far, 10 vendors have signed up to participate, selling anything from organic hummus to regionally grown produce.

The Inspired Business Women’s Alliance, which has been spearheading the efforts to provide a crafts fair-style market night in the downtown area has been hampered by piercing cold weather, according to the organization’s president Miranda Owens.

Freezing weather resulted in the cancellation of the last one scheduled Feb. 7.

IBWA has held discussions with the Banning Chamber of Commerce, which recently was granted permission by the city to host a market night on the parking area behind the chamber along Ramsey Street.

Those discussions are preliminary, according to Roman Canchola, office manager for the Banning Chamber of Commerce.

According to Canchola, ideas floated by the chamber’s board and supporters include a chili cookoff and weekly car shows.

The chamber hopes to have something coordinated with IBWA by the end of March.

Staff Writer David James Heiss may be reached at , or by calling (951) 849-4586 x114.


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