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Farmer’s market in Griffith diversifies in its 2nd year

MelissLopez Hobart her sister Irene Lopez Merrillville enjoy some barbecue pork nachos during Griffith's Central Market Friday evening. Record crowds

Melissa Lopez, of Hobart, and her sister, Irene Lopez, of Merrillville, enjoy some barbecue pork nachos during Griffith's Central Market Friday evening. Record crowds were thought to have attended. | Michelle L. Quinn~for Sun-Times Media

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Updated: June 25, 2014 6:09AM



GRIFFITH — The Lopez sisters know from good food, and Griffith was the place to be for them Friday evening.

Between barbecue pork nachos and Korean barbecue tacos, there was plenty for the two to eat at Central Market, the town’s foray into the ubiquitous farmer’s markets. And the brownies weren’t bad, either.

“The maple bacon brownies were just decadent,” said Melissa Lopez, of Hobart. “They were soft and weren’t too rich.”

Now in its second year, Friday’s market looked to have its biggest crowd despite the chilly weather. Nicole Jamrose sang in the beer garden, and the lines for Rolling Stonebaker pizza were 30 minutes long.

Amid the craziness stood Central Market organizer Kathy Ruesken, taking it all in.

“It was so difficult to determine how many people attend because they come in from every direction in the park,” she said. “Toward the end, though, a good weather day could bring in 400 people easily. And tonight, our hot dog lady with her cart brought 200 hot dogs with her, and she sold out (about 6:30).”

Anticipating a growing following, Ruesken expanded the food choices, adding the Korean barbecue cart and barbecue ribs as well as fresh food smoothies. The popular gourmet pizza place, Grindhouse Coffee and gourmet pretzel vendor, meanwhile, are back for more.

Later in the season, more kid-friendly offerings will be available, such as the barrel train ride through the park sponsored by the Griffith Historical Society and crafts and activities sponsored by the YMCA. Anything to bring people out of their houses and into the park.

“The town really is multicultural, but you don’t necessarily see that just walking down the street,” Ruesken said. “I want to bring people out so they can feel like part of the town and take in some good music and good food.

“It’s all about valuing people and giving them a place.”



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