Published 12:10 am Thursday, May 4, 2023
Large crowd flocks to Jerry Long Family YMCA for Clemmons Community Day and Clemmons Farmers Market
Long before the official start of Clemmons Community Day 2023, parking spaces were already hard to find. In fact, as the day went on, Adam Cardwell, the associate executive director of the Jerry Long Family YMCA, was out in the streets helping the Forsyth County Sheriff’s Office direct traffic.
That’s what happens when you combine the popular 12th annual event with the growing Clemmons Farmers Market as they joined forces for the second straight year. However, this time the Farmers Market occupied the parking lot directly beside the large field where all the vendors were set up for Clemmons Community Day.
Although there were clouds in the morning after a couple of rainy days, the sun broke through just before noon as the crowd continued to expand and explore the offerings at both locations.
Denise Heidel, the executive director of the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber of Commerce, said that it was great to partner again with the Farmers Market, which is operated by the Village of Clemmons.
“We bounce off of their audience and they bounce off of ours,” Heidel said. “It just makes two events all the stronger. Another positive difference is they extended their hours a little bit longer today to coincide with ours and continue that collaboration. We are projecting a crowd of about 3,500.”
Shannon Ford, who is the director of marketing and communications for the village, voiced her appreciation for being able to bring the Farmers Market to the Y in 2020 and then connecting on the schedule with Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber for a second season.
“Partnering with the Jerry Long Family YMCA and the Lewisville-Clemmons Chamber on an event is always such a seamless and natural process,” Ford said. “Goals are aligned, and the personal commitment to this community is unmatched.”
Kristin Johnson, the director of Historic Broyhill Office Suites in Clemmons who has been the program coordinator for two years and a longtime board member for the chamber, served as the emcee for the event, which had the music provided by Mr. Bill’s Productions.
A new addition to this year’s Clemmons Community Day was the introduction of a first-time mascot, Lewis C. Chambers (L.C).
“We want to keep things exciting, interesting and fun,” Johnson said, “and we are pretty proud to show this guy off. We’re pretty sure that he is a front-runner to win the mascot dance off here today.”
A dunk booth was also added this year, and, as always, there was a wide selection of food, entertainment and other activities, including favorites for kids such as bounce houses, slides and a train ride.
Tammy Parks, who is president of the chamber, said that vendors filled all 110 spaces that were available to display their wares, and there was a variety in the offerings from the local businesses.
“Every vendor I’ve talked to so far has said they’re really happy and have had a great turnout,” she said. “There’s something here for the young and old and everybody in between.”
One of the newest businesses in Clemmons, Fleet Feet, had a booth, and Hannah Faber, its community outreach coordinator, said that quite a few people had stopped by to check out the shoes.
“It’s been busy, busy,” Haber said of the crowd. “We’re right down the street from here and joined the chamber when we opened in December. We’re excited to be in Clemmons and looking to get more traffic at the new store.”
Although Heidel said she didn’t have a final number of new businesses that were part of Clemmons Community Day, she pointed out that this year’s event had far more chamber members who were vendors in 2022.
Heidel did note a change in philosophy this year “instead of having so much programming to really focus entirely on the vendors and less on the stage performances because at the end of the day this is about the vendors and their opportunity to connect with the community.”
As for the Clemmons Farmers Market, Ford said that 31 vendors were on hand for Saturday’s first market. New vendors at the market this year include Bacon Beach Pottery, Sunny Dayz Plant Nursery, Golden Magnolia Bath and Body, Ruby Ridge Farm, Wirehaired Booch, MoonLight Turnings, Ashley’s Sewing Room, Kiki’s Kitchen, AnnaBanana LLC, Ford Farm Designs and The Farm and Forge.
Ford added that all of the full-time seasonal vendors, which commit to attend the market each Saturday, returned this year except for one that is no longer operating.
“As a market manager, it is such a huge compliment to have those vendors return as it shows their overall satisfaction with the direction of the market,” she said.
The Clemmons Farmers Market will be held each Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. from now until October. Ford said that there will be 36 vendors participating this Saturday.
“There will always be more vendors on the first Saturday of the month when we welcome our accepted artisans to the market,” Ford said. “This year we have a total of 45 accepted vendors, and 14 of those are artisan vendors.”
There is also a “rather long wait list” to join the Clemmons Farmers Market at this time.
“Some people have asked: ‘What is the secret?’ ” Ford said. ”There is no secret. It is this community. The vendor family, our customers and the overall support of buying local makes each Saturday a success.“