Issue 28pulse

Celebrating Turlock: The Central Park Evening Market

By Noel Daniel

Last year saw some tumult in quiet Turlock surrounding the Cipponeris and the customary Saturday morning slot of the Turlock Certified Farmers Market on Main Street. It was a move that infuriated many Turlockers, who followed the TCFM to the fairgrounds—but this year brought good news.

On behalf of Peter Cipponeri, Valeria Jimenez is resurrecting Turlock’s bygone night market. It’s been almost sixteen years since the last, and the Central Park Evening Market aims to be the spiritual successor.

“You know I’m a Turlock native,” said Jimenez. “I was gone for almost a decade and I came back because I felt like there was something special about Turlock. I want to be here to see what develops. There’s something special here.”

For any who’ve visited Turlock, Jimenez’s sentiment is clear. Turlock is the perfect blend of small and big business, city and country. The small-town-charm of Turlock is not interrupted by the presence of multiple big box stores which have recently popped up along Countryside Drive, and is only enhanced by countless successful entrepreneurs like the brewmasters behind Dust Bowl Brewing Co. or the game designer Chris Handy.

Jimenez, herself, is a jewelry designer and has been for twenty-four years and now has her sights set on helping Turlock “feel that community again.”

“The reason I took it on and changed to Thursdays is I wanted to give people the option to celebrate everything we have here,” said Jimenez. “Let’s give the community what they want. Let’s celebrate all things local. Let’s give them an experience of Turlock. Let them feel what I feel when I’m here.”

To emphasize this feeling of community, Jimenez says they’ll be giving all Turlock vendors the season for free as a “thank you” for pioneering the new night market with them.

Starting May 4, the market will be opening in Turlock’s central park, right across from 10 East on the corner of West Main Street and Golden State Boulevard. The market will run from 5 to 8 p.m. and feature fresh food, produce, artisanal goods, flower vendors, and more.

“It’ll be a fun mix of crafts and fresh foods and produce,” said Jimenez, “everything you’d see at a regular Farmers market.”

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