Several weeks into the French Square Market pilot initiative, Town Manager Jim McKennaâ€™s vision of the Winthrop community gathering at a weekly festive â€œtown squareâ€ event has become a reality.
Over 500 people have come down to French Square in the first few weeks of June to see what everyone is talking about. The Market is held from 4 to 8 p.m. every Thursday, and is comprised of vendors offering services ranging from tarot card readings to fabulous pulled pork sandwiches.Â When combined with terrific music provided by the likes of Ellen Oâ€™Brien and Max Whiting, residents have left the Center feeling happy and full. There was even a Zumba flash mob sighting a couple weeks ago!
Survey cards asking attendees to comment on what they â€œliked bestâ€ included: â€œMeeting friends and neighborsâ€; â€œItâ€™s something different to do in the town with the familyâ€; â€œGreat prices on great stuff!â€; â€œThe atmosphere and community gatheringâ€.
The restaurant specials being offered by Center eateries have been tremendously successful. Hong Kong Dragonâ€™s â€œFive for Fiveâ€ special â€“ 5 appetizers for $5 â€“ has been hugely popular. The Kasbah has been grilling in the middle of the Center, and featured a terrific plate of grilled meats with side dishes for $5 as well. And La Siesta has made a tasty offering of â€œtortasâ€ (yummy Mexican sandwiches). Specials are offered every week â€“ affordable, wonderful local food. We also suggest stopping by Swettâ€™s Liquors during the Market to take part in the Beer Tastings that Paul Lucerto has arranged to coincide with the Market festivities.
This week, live music will be heard from the stage: from 4:30 to 6:00pm, master guitar/fiddle player Jonathan LaMaster, to be followed by Winthropâ€™s own Justin Magee and his band who will be playing until 8 p.m.
Wares on sale at the Thursday June 28st Market include pottery, jewelry, and childrenâ€™s clothes; to whet your appetite, Town favorites Hot Diggity, Twist nâ€™ Shake, and others will be on-hand. The Winthrop Marketplace will again be at the Center with produce, and for your sweet tooth, some amazing pies (overheard conversation between a mother and daughter in the Center: â€œDid you get a blueberry pie?â€ â€œNo!â€ Mom answered. â€œApple pie.â€ â€œBut I wanted a blueberry pie,â€ complained the daughter. â€œNEXT WEEK, weâ€™ll get blueberry. Tonight, itâ€™s APPLE!â€ proclaimed Mom, and they left, pie in hand.).
There are still opportunities for food vendors and crafts artisans to reserve space for upcoming Markets. Please go to www.frenchsquaremarket.com, and fill out a Vendor Form.Â In addition, the Market is looking for volunteers to help coordinate the nightâ€™s festivities.Â The more, the merrier!
Special kudos are due to Chief Delehanty and the Winthrop Police Department who have provided a police presence on a weekly basis as part of their ongoing community service commitment to the Town.Â In addition, a reminder that parking is tight in the Center, and that visitors to the Market should pay attention to all applicable parking restrictions.Â Overflow parking is available at the Larson Rink and the lower EB Newton lot along Walden Street.