Valley’s markets and mingles kick off summer

Produce on display at the Just a Drop In Farmers Market in Heritage Park.

Produce on display at the Just a Drop In Farmers Market in Heritage Park.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Heritage Park was filled with Carson Valley residents who came together for the second Wind Down Wednesday and greet summer and to enjoy each other and the warming weather.

In partnership with Main Street Gardnerville and the Cultural Arts Foundation, Wind Down Wednesday was started in 2022 by CV Flyte, a mobile bar owned by Shannon Allen and Kylie Koerner.

The event is held once a month May through October at Heritage Park featuring a blend of varying new and existing food and beverage vendors and entertainment.

This month, flavors were provided by Ping Pow Poom shaved ice, Hungry Hearts, Cook’d, King of Kings and more. Children were entertained with the opportunity to bounce and tumble in the bounce houses while adults mingled and enjoyed performances by Mikie Rae & the Hooligans and Grupo Paso Fino.

Also, during Wednesday’s event, the foundation introduced a community art project being spearheaded by Brett Freeman.

“I call it Collaboration,” said Freeman.

Freeman is an artist, using what he calls “garage granola,” which is a collection of broken or discarded pieces, such as glass, washers, bolts, buttons and more.

“I call these pieces brokenly beautiful, because like many of us we are broken, but can be reborn, so to speak, into something else and often times, with a different and more beautiful purpose,” Freeman, “and that’s what I like to show through these pieces. This is one way I like to serve others because it inspires them and it’s fun.”

The piece is going to be a community project anyone can contribute to.

“They can add their blob of paint here and there to the canvas or donate their own ‘broken’ pieces, like rocks, shells, washers or other small things or something special and meaningful,” said Freeman. “The goal is to have a piece where the community can enjoy and be a part of and to look back on and say, ‘I added that blob over there or I contributed that.’ It’s to share the creativity of the community with each other.”

Freeman said three pieces will be in the works now through October during the Wind Down Wednesday events at the foundation tent.

He said one piece will be donated to the Center of Hope and Healing and the other two plan to be auctioned or displayed in a public place.

“It’s still in the works of where the others will be or how we will go about that, but if it’s auctioned, the money will go back to the Cultural Arts Foundation and ideally we’d like to see it somewhere in public view, because that’s the point of it. We want to be able to see it and reminisce on our collaboration.”

Future Wind Down Wednesdays are scheduled for July 26, Aug. 23, Sept.27 and Oct. 25. Visit for more information and to sign up to vendor the event.

This Wind Down Wednesday wasn’t the Valley’s only celebration of summer, but children have been enjoying the Minden splash pad since it opened in May and the Farmer’s markets in Minden and Gardnerville have been bringing in crowds.

“It’s been going great, the community is very supportive,” said the Minden market organizer and longtime businesswoman, Roxanne Stangle during the Minden Farmer’s market Tuesday.

The Gardnerville farmer’s market is run by Teressa Bennis, owner of Just a Drop essential oils and gifts.

“We want to bring back that small town feel with fresh produce, food, fun and mingling,” said Bennis during Wednesday’s farmer market.

Farmer’s markets are 4-8 p.m. Tuesdays in Minden on Esmeralda Avenue and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesdays at Heritage Park in Gardnerville.

Visit and for more information and upcoming in events through the Carson Valley.


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