By Nicole Underwood / NewsBreak Pinal County, AZ
(ORACLE, AZ) - As the summer heat begins to set in, many outdoor experiences transition or take a hiatus. For Oracle Farmer’s Market, they keep the tradition alive all year long, creating special summer hours to keep local art, food and entertainment available for nearby residents.
Located at Sue and Jerry’s Trading Post in Oracle, Arizona, this local resale shop has provided a creative outlet for locals to gather, offering everything from art, antiques, unique and gifts of all kinds from 20 different consignors. Whether you are looking for cowboy boots, German chocolate, rugs, pottery, or other random treasures, more than likely this place will have it.
Since 1985, owners Sue and Jerry Parra have offered their unique spin to resale shops and outdoor art galleries for the community. Jerry is also inspired by the scrappy spirit of his shop, creating random and one-of-a-kind sculptures made out of scrap metal, random car parts, and tools from old copper mines no longer in operation. Turning “trash into treasure” has kept people coming back for nearly 40 years.
Their popular Farmer’s Market, which just changed hours to 6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. for the summer, is the biggest draw of the week. Every Wednesday, vendors set up to amplify the quirky trading post vibe, by offering their own unique art works and creations, as well as food, music - and sometimes bringing their pets.
The market actively utilizes Facebook to share their weekly announcements for which vendors and entertainment will be present, often sharing these creative lineups only by first name, true to the communal experience they have cultivated; in essence, everyone knows each other.
For those not in “the know”, each week, you can experience everything from local soap vendors by an artisan known as “Diana,” to custom glass sculptures and hand crafted knives by a couple named “Babs and Alex.” Every Wednesday, the market provides a different rotation of artisans, while also celebrating returning vendor favorites, offering a long market tradition that people enjoy coming back to. The local food is also plentiful, selling not just your average sweets and treats, but also providing nutritional offerings such as freshly baked bread, a variety of produce and eggs, as well as local plants, herbs, and more.
Most notable is their variety with music. From funk to folk, bluegrass to straight rock, the market founders often share personal anecdotes of each musical experience a guest will experience as they introduce which musician will perform that week. You get the sense that these folks aren't just entertainers, but extended members of this family-style community. This personalized touch has created a fun atmosphere for people to shop, linger, and enjoy the both music and local offerings while catching up with old and new friends.
If you want to explore the area further, Oracle State Park nearby is worth a visit, with options to hike trails and enjoy wildlife, or sign up for a self-guided tour of the Historic Kannally Ranch House or experience stargazing at the American Avenue Trailhead Parking Lot, a popular activity at their International Dark Sky Park. Visit the Arizona State Park website for information about programs and events in Oracle. And if you are in the area, be sure to experience what makes the Oracle Farmers Market so special and perhaps find yourself a unique gift or two. Learn more about the market and the trading post on their website,