Pontotoc plans 'Off the Square' market

By Errol Castens/Daily Journal Oxford Bureau

PONTOTOC – Pontotoc officials and civic leaders hope to have a new pavilion ready for community events and a farmers market sometime this spring.
Dirt work has begun already, and construction bids will be opened in the next few days.
The facility, as designed, will accommodate fruit and vegetable growers, craft vendors and a variety of community events. Construction on the 80-foot-by-80-foot, L-shaped structure is aimed at a 60-day schedule, with opening planned for mid-spring.
“We want to have it open in time for the Amish corn,” Pontotoc Mayor Jeff Stafford said.
Local growers are already expressing enthusiasm over the prospect of a covered farmers’ market, he said, adding that the availability of shade will likely add to the variety of produce available.
“Even the Amish are excited about it,” he said, referring to a community of Old Order Mennonites known for reserved demeanors. “You have to really work to get the Amish excited.”
The structure will be built on the southwest corner of Lafayette and Jefferson Streets, one block northwest of the downtown Square.
“Mike and Rene Simon, who own the Sunflower shopping center, donated this land,” said Ellen Russell, director of Pontotoc’s Main Street program.
errol.castens@journalinc.com