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Columbia Falls community market opens for the season

C Falls community market
Posted at 4:24 PM, May 17, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-17 18:24:32-04

COLUMBIA FALLS — Some call it the unofficial start of summer in Flathead County as the first Columbia Falls Community Market opens May 18.

For the next 20 weeks community members are invited to join a full market of vendors, listen to live music, and enjoy a cold one at the beer garden.

Artist, craftsmen, produce, food vendors and more will be on full display Thursday as the Columbia Falls Community Market opens for the season.

“As of today, we’ve had 146 local vendors that have applied to the market,” said Columbia Falls Community Market Executive Director Melissa Ellis.

Ellis said the market provides a little bit of something for everybody.

“We’ve got face painting, we’ve got pottery, we’ve got pastries,” added Ellis.

“And I’m the pie lady of Columbia Falls, so I’ve been selling pie to Columbia Falls people for 15 years, I have kind of a cult following, it’s all butter crust,” said Prairie Girl Farms Owner Jean Flynn.

Flynn will be one of the local vendors at the market, selling an assortment of pies, and adding a new wrinkle this year, homemade pop tarts.

“So, I have Strawberry Rhubarb, Peach, Mixed Berry, cherry, I don’t do the huckleberry anymore because it’s like a $110 a gallon!”

Flynn said it feels like a party every week when Thursday comes around.

“You just see people like pouring down from up on the hill where they park, lots of people.”

Cindy Shaw sells her homemade pottery at the market.

she said it’s a family-like atmosphere among the vendors.

“We know how to put up their tents, we know what to do when they’re sick or have a sick child and they need to be gone, we can run their booth for them and it’s a real community itself within the community, and almost all of the vendors, I think all of the vendors are Flathead Valley, but a lot of the vendors are from Columbia Falls itself.”

Ellis said the market will be highlighting a different non-profit each week during the season, localized to the Flathead valley.

“So, you can come in and you can donate to those non-profits, it’s a donation station, we encourage donations, and learn about what they do for the community, maybe even help volunteer for them.”

The market runs every Thursday from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. at the Coop, 810 1st Ave W, Columbia Falls.