The Tosa Farmers Market will temporarily relocate this fall to make way for street festival TosaFest, and a local developer will help pay the way.
The farmers market, normally situated in the Hart's Mill parking lot in the Village of Wauwatosa, will relocate in a one-time move to the Hart Park Rotary Stage, near 68th and West State Street, on Sept. 10.
In past years, the farmers market was held in its usual spot in the morning and TosaFest used the parking lot in the afternoon for its street festivities. The doubled space needs is a symptom of anticipated construction along State Street in the Village this fall.
Alicia Bartz, marketing manager for the farmers market, said organizers had originally hoped to remain in the Hart's Mill parking lot as Sept. 10 marks 'the height of Wisconsin harvest.' The livelihood of many of the market's approximate 50 vendors relies on sales that time of year.
Ultimately, Tosa Farmers Market organizers decided it was best to pursue a one-time move, Bartz said, adding the market will incorporate a number of fun events that morning intended to celebrate the harvest.
The Wauwatosa Common Council granted a street festival permit earlier this month for TosaFest, a long-standing tradition of music, food and family fun, which will celebrate 41 years this year. Part of the formal approval included the relocation of the market.
TosaFest organizers have agreed to help the farmers market move needed equipment, but about $1,300 in associated costs, including park rental fees and printing costs to notify market shoppers of the move, remained, Bartz said.
To address the financial strain, Brookfield-based HSI Properties, the developer behind the State Street Station retail and apartment project, stepped in.
Ryan Schultz, president of HSI Properties, said he was approached by Wauwatosa Alderman Michael Walsh about the opportunity to collaborate and help ease the burden of relocating the market.
'When I got the call from Ald. Walsh, I was happy to step up and cover the expenses to temporarily relocate the farmers market during TosaFest,' Schultz said. 'HSI has had tremendous success with our projects in the city and as corporate citizens, we all have a responsibility to chip in and give back to the community.'
Schultz said both TosaFest and the market have personal meanings.
'Not only are the farmers market and TosaFest important to my tenants, they are important to me personally,' Schultz said. 'My family and I visit the farmers market several times each summer and TosaFest is an absolute must. These are the quality of life amenities that make Wauwatosa a great place to live.'
The Tosa Farmers Market will open for the season June 4.