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November 18, 2010 | Visit the Farmers Market online at | Subscribe to Fresh Picks

News for This Saturday, November 20

In old movies, there's always a Last Chance Gas Station or a Last Chance Saloon or a Last Chance Gumball Machine to warn the characters that it's now or never, and that's where we are with the 2010 Lansdowne Farmers Market. This Saturday is the Last Chance Market, and we've managed to wrangle in almost every vendor that's appeared this season for one final blowout. Last week, this newsletter contained a list of what you could preorder from them, and if you didn't do that, our only advice is to get to the parking lot early. In 2009, John's mushroom soup was gone by 10:15. Consider yourself warned.

The quickest way to let you know who will be at the Market is to say who won't: Bone Appetite Barkery and Wentworth Dairy both have other obligations this Saturday. Too bad for them, since it's gonna be a blast. Everyone else -- including all the weekly vendors, all three members of the soap group, both MyHouse Cookies (pies) and Cupcake Dreams, Turning Root, and the two new vendors (brownies and maple syrup) -- will be there and loaded up for Thanksgiving. (If you want a refresher on what all they'll have, pop over to last week's comprehensive listing here.) The current plan is to squeeze them in all on one side of the lot to free up as many parking spaces as possible, so vendors are likely to be shifted a bit from where you're used to seeing them. Just make it a point to stop at each tent, so you don't miss anyone or anything.

Reminder: now's the time to take down your LFM apple lawn signs and store them for the winter. There are still a number of these up around town, and we appreciate the advertising, but so as not to confuse people, let's pull them inside for the winter.

It's been a great season, people. We couldn't be prouder to have been voted the #2 boutique market in the country and the #2 market overall in the state. (And had we caught on sooner to the fact that you can vote repeatedly, we're certain we'd have taken the #1 spot in at least one of those.) We bestow a lot of gratitude from this newsletter, but none is more sincere or deserved than this bestowal: Thank you, shoppers, and thank you, vendors, for making this the best year so far at the Lansdowne Farmers Market. We had more foot traffic, more interest from new vendors, and more celebrity visitors (as in campaigning politicos) than ever before, and that's because the Market is now a destination -- a place to shop, to eat, to see and be seen. It's come a long way in four years, and if you're reading this, you helped with that, so thanks again. And a special note of thanks to the FM committee members and to the other volunteers who set up and take down the Market, who take photos, who help out on special event days, and who just make the whole thing work. You're the best.

An unusual thing about the LFM is that we focus on local businesses, so once the Market is over, you can still get many of the goods just by going to storefronts in or around the borough. Right along 'Downe Town's Main Street -- aka Lansdowne Avenue -- are the Regency Café, which is open every day for a light and caffeine-enriched breakfast, a healthful lunch, and a decadent snack before dinner, and Provisions Market, open Tuesday to Saturday and loaded with delish take-home-and-warm-up prepared foods, homemade baked goods (try the Guinness cake and the St Louis gooey cake already!), imported cheeses, Le Bus breads, and other yummy stuff. For the past umpteen years, Bonnie's Wondergardens has been located over on Scottdale Road for all your plant and flower needs; stop in and they'll put together a bouquet of gorgeous cut flowers for you in no time. On the north side of town, Harvest Local Foods, which is tucked around the corner on Windermere just above Marshall Road, has locally grown organic produce and other products available Thursday and Friday afternoon and most of the day Saturday, and they'll also deliver if you order online.

One of the newest additions to the Market is also a new face in the borough: B.T. Baking is opening shop this Saturday, November 20, at 54 W. Marshall Road, where Before Our Time Antiques once was. They'll be open a couple days a week so you can walk in and buy a fresh brownie for $2.50 each, six for $14, or 12 for $27. They're having a special to celebrate their opening weekend: pumpkin brownies are only $1, and if you buy a cookie or a chocolate or peanut butter brownie, you'll get one free. (Plus, shortly after Thanksgiving, they'll be adding peppermint brownies to their lineup. Yum!) Proprietors Todd and Kestra Kelly will be at the Market this Saturday (though the special deals are only at their store), so stop at their tent and ask them what days they'll be open and what times.

Predator in Chief
This weekend's also your last chance to catch The Ransom of Red Chief at Celebration Theater. This local production, amply stocked with Lansdowne residents, is based on an O. Henry story about a kidnapping gone awry because the kipnappee is, well, a brat who enjoys tormenting his captors. It's a plot device you've seen many times in movies like Ruthless People and Home Alone, but this is where it originated. Come, see, laugh. Watch the commercial here and purchase tickets here for shows this Friday through Sunday at 7:00 pm.

Starting this weekend at Cinema 16:9 is a special engagement of Gasland, a documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Josh Fox -- winner of this year's Sundance Special Jury Prize and the Lennon-Ono Peace Prize Award. The film exposes pollution and community health problems that are plaguing the places where natural gas drilling occurs, including Pennsylvania. As gas drillers get ready to drill in the Delaware River watershed, the film exposes the truth about Marcellus shale natural gas drilling, which threatens the water supply of the more than 15 million people that rely on the Delaware River for their drinking water, including residents of Philadelphia and other communities living downstream. After certain showings (this Friday at 6:15 and 7:30 pm, Saturday the 20th at 6:30 pm, and Saturday the 27th at 5:30 pm), there will be a discussion and Q&A with Delaware Riverkeeper Network and Protecting Our Waters where citizens can learn what they can do to help protect the threatened PA lands and the Delaware River watershed. Cinema 16:9 is donating portions of ticket sales for Friday's shows to the Delaware Riverkeeper Network to help fight gas drilling in the Delaware River watershed. Tickets are $8.50 for matinee and $10.50 for evening screenings, and credit card reservations can be made over the phone by calling 484-461-7676 and pressing 0 to speak with staff.

Festive Friday
This Friday night also marks the latest edition of another Lansdowne tradition -- the annual holiday tree lighting sponsored by the Lansdowne Business Association. Beginning at 6:30 pm, stop by the municipal lot on North Lansdowne (yep, the same one where the Farmers Market takes place) for music from the Penn Wood High School brass ensemble, free cocoa and hot cider, a live dance exhibition by Don's Dance World, and of course, photos with Santa himself.

Spaghetti Saturday
Don't waste your time in the kitchen this Saturday -- Lansdowne Boy Scout Troop 63 will take care of the cooking and do this dishes at its spaghetti dinner, which takes place from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the First Presbyterian Church of Lansdowne located at Lansdowne and Greenwood Avenues. Fill up your entire family on the cheap; the dinner costs just $5 for kids and $8 for adults.

Art Attacks
There are two big events coming up in the next few weeks that you should definitely put on your calendar. The first is A Bit of the Arts Holiday Show and Sale, which takes place immediately after Thanksgiving on Friday, November 26, from 3:00 to 8:00 pm, and Saturday 10:00 am to 4:00 pm. Why brave the crowds at the mall when you can get thoughtful, one-of-a-kind gifts right here? Jewelry, glass, photography, painting, fiber pieces, woodworks, candies, and other terrific handmade items will be for sale in the relaxed, music-filled environment of the Twentieth Century Club. (Follow the link above for a complete list of artists.) You can also buy food on site. Give yourself some time for this one.

Whatever you do, don't miss the debut of Art Space Lansdowne, a brand new business dedicated to "providing a comfortable, inspirational environment for artists, art instructors, and art students to create, learn, and share their knowledge and love of all things artistic," to quote the mission statement. The Space is kicking off Wednesday evening, December 8, with a Holiday Open House from 6:00 to 9:00 pm. Everyone is invited to come shop the offerings of several local artisans, enjoy wine and cheese, and maybe even participate in the creation of that perfect gift, such as a personalized pendant or key chain. You can check out the space and talk with the artists about classes they'll be offering starting in 2011. Art Space Lansdowne is located at 25 S. Lansdowne Avenue, right next to Hoff Communications and across from Sycamore.

MAP The Lansdowne Farmers Market takes place every Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm in the parking lot next to 28 North Lansdowne Avenue, rain or shine.

Visit our sister market, the Oakmont Farmers Market, Wednesday afternoons in Havertown for more local produce, bread, meat, and other products.

Featured This Week

Artist of the Week: Ellen Lustgarden's felted wool hats sold out almost immediately at the Arts Festival and can be seen around town on the most fashionable heads. She's restocked her supply of hats, scarves, and adorable little bags for this Saturday, but come early for best selection, especially if you want one of those funky hats!

Musician of the Week: What can we say about Bob Beach that we haven't already? He's nice, he's talented like crazy, and he's all ours -- this Saturday anyway, when he and friend Jim Klingler strum and pick and sing the daylights out of a whole bunch of tunes.


Upcoming Local Events

Movies at Cinema 16:9
Gasland, Four Lions, Strange Powers
Call or go online for times and tickets
35 N. Lansdowne Avenue; 484-461-7676

5/3 Woodland and Lansdowne Gospel Choir at the Lansdowne Folk Club
Thursday, November 18, 7:30 PM; $18 at door
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

The Ransom of Red Chief presented by Celebration Theater
Friday to Sunday, November 19 to 21, 7:00 pm
$10 per person; $39 for 5 tickets
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Holiday Tree Lighting presented by the Lansdowne Business Association
Friday, November 19, 6:30 pm; Free
Municipal Lot at 30 N. Lansdowne Ave

Spaghetti Dinner served by Lansdowne Boy Scout Troop 63
Saturday, November 20, 4:00 to 7:00 pm
$5 for 12 and under, $8 for adults
First Presbyterian Church, Lansdowne and Greenwood Avenues

A Bit of the Arts Holiday Art Sale
Friday, November 26, 3:00 to 8:00 pm; Free
Saturday, November 27, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm; Free
Twentieth Century Club, 84 S. Lansdowne Avenue

Holiday Open House at Art Space Lansdowne
Wednesday, December 8, 6:00 to 9:00 pm; Free
25 S. Lansdowne Avenue

View the complete listing of local events.
Young folks love the farmers market for all of the fresh fruit, veggies... and Skittles.
Sometimes the good music at the market gets people up and dancing.
Well-behaved furry friends are always welcome.

Photos courtesy of John Kelly Green.