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'It's tremendous': Year-round farmer's market expanding to two days each week in Sumter

The American Legion Farmer's Market is open every Friday in Sumter. Soon, it'll be opening on Saturdays as the market continues to grow.

SUMTER, S.C. — The American Legion Farmer's Market opens every Friday of the year in Sumter. Soon, it will also be open on Saturdays. 

"Saturdays are going to be great because people who work Monday through Friday can actually get out here and see what we do," vendor Larry Metcalf said. "Whether I sell anything or not, it doesn’t matter to me. These people here, these are my family."

Metcalf is a blacksmith with Wasabi Blades and Emporium. He was one of the first vendors at the market when it first opened. Over time, he's watched the market grow as more vendors and visitors come each week.

Shoppers like Derrick Floyd appreciate that growth.

"It’s tremendous. We’re always looking for things to do in Sumter and I just love the fact that the community is actually growing and we get to be a part of it," Floyd shared. "As a military member, we move around a lot and so to have the opportunity to really immerse yourself in the community is always awesome and we like to shop local so it’s fun."

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Vendors like Ellen Hamilton with Just Piddlin' Soaps and Such like the social aspect of the market.

"It’s always exciting to be out in the community and meeting folks," Hamilton shared.

Vendors Jason and Ryan Morgan with see it as a way to serve residents. The pair sell their local honey, which comes from Stony Branch Farm.

"That’s what farmers are for, you know? You supply the food we eat and then we grow local," Jason said.

Morgan Stiles came up with the idea to open a second day each week. She said that in addition to giving shoppers the chance to come out on a weekend, it also helps business owners.

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"The American Legion Farmer's Market really gives these businesses, these vendors, a place - a home - where they can be supported by others who maybe have more experience than them. It gives them a place where there’s already foot traffic that comes around," she said. "It’s just a support, both from vendors and the community and it gives them a way to be seen by the community as well."

To further support businesses, the market is now taking applications for Free Vendor November." First-time vendors can apply to have a free space at the market for all of November.

"There’s a little bit of apprehension just showing your face to the public for the first time as a business and so it is just a little incentive to say, you know, be brave and come out," Stiles said.

That application is open now on a rolling basis. To apply, visit AmericanLegionFarmersMarket.com

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