Note: This post is the second in a series about the Woodstock Square. If you like to begin things at the beginning—and if you missed Part 1 of the series—you can find that here.
The Woodstock Square is THE place to be on Saturday. After all, it’s Farmers Market day. People spill out of the shops and restaurants, and the park in the center of the Square is a joyful, colorful mix of people of all ages. I’m about to head down there for a couple of hours. I’ll show you what I mean.
Good mornin’, America, how are ya?
Our Farmers Market comes with its own soundtrack. Local musicians, like Mark Hobbs above, perform in the bandstand, their amplified voices filling the Square.
Local farmers offer an amazing variety of homegrown produce and homemade items. I always walk by all of the stands, stopping often for a closer look at the offerings. Here is a sampler of products that catch my eye today.
After making the rounds twice, and making a few purchases, I’m ready for some people watching. I wander around, finding people of all ages enjoying the park in the Square.
Now it’s time for a few stops on the perimeter of the Square. The first one takes me to this lovely old building, The Woodstock Opera House.
Inside, there’s only one person ahead of me in line at the ticket window. Within minutes, I’ve scored two fourth-row seats for an upcoming performance of the Woodstock Mozart Festival. The program will include a Mozart divertimento, a Mozart symphony, and a Beethoven piano concerto. And the helpful ticket agent reminds me about the free lecture by the guest conductor before the concert.
Time is passing quickly, and it’s getting on toward lunch time. So I decide to visit just two of the many stores around the Square. First is our hometown independent bookstore, Read Between the Lynes. I walk in, and the owner, Arlene Lynes, greets me with a hug. She shares the exciting news that she is moving the shop a couple of doors down the street to a larger location. Then she asks about the novel I’ve been working on for five years and offers encouragement when I tell her it’s on hold again.
I’m back outside before I remember I haven’t taken a photo of the bookstore. So I snap a shot of a poster that I like in the store window. When I look at it closer, I find a happy accident of symbolism. The window reflects part of the Square, representing how this store is part of the fabric of our town.
Then I head for this attractive building, home to the best chocolate shop EVER — Ethereal Confections.
I convince myself, regretfully, that it’s too early in the day for one of their chocolate martinis. And I show great self-discipline, buying only a few homemade candies to take with me.
Now, with my shopping finished and my time winding down, I cut through the Square toward the old courthouse. Inside this structure, dating back to the 1850s, is a wonderful restaurant, the Woodstock Public House, where I’ll treat myself to lunch.
I order one of my favorites, the fish tacos, then take a moment to reflect on my surroundings. And that is when I realize there will be one more post in this series about the Square.
How can I sit in this most historic of buildings without contemplating how my personal history intersects with the history of this town that I chose for my home 45 years ago?