The Windmill Farm and Craft Market, a staple for Yates County tourists, shoppers and day-trippers in the Finger Lakes since 1987, will celebrate its 30th anniversary on Aug. 26 beginning at 1 p.m. on the market’s 44-acre grounds on Route 14A between Penn Yan and Dundee.
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball is expected to attend to help recognize the market’s significant contribution to agri-tourism for the past three decades. Staff members of U.S. Congressman Tom Reed, State Assemblyman Phil Palmesano and State Sen. Tom O’Mara, who represent the area in Albany are also expected. They will present a commendation to the market in honor of the Windmill’s growth and continued commitment to making Yates County a comfortably attractive mecca for those who want to spend a day in the country but experience a truly unique experience.
Music and entertainment will fill the air, as well as special giveaways and discounts at the event for shoppers at the market on Aug. 26. The Windmill’s manager and board of directors have worked hard to put together a day that will be sure to do justice to the auspicious occasion of the 30th anniversary.
“The day will include a large party tent and some samples from some of our vendors,” said Windmill Board President Jeff Squires, who with his family, owns several food businesses at the Windmill. “We are delighted to host this day to mark our anniversary. The market has been such an important part of drawing attention to our region for all of its positive attractions and contributions to tourism in the Finger Lakes.”
Started by a group of a few dozen members of the area’s Mennonite and Amish communities, aided by their “English” friends as a place to sell their products, the Windmill Farm and Craft Market has blossomed into the region’s premiere tourism destination, attracting thousands of visitors each Saturday from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. from the end of April to mid-December.
"From crafters to craft beers, great eateries to tasty treats, Amish and Mennonite baked goods, handmade items, custom furniture, cabinetry, local wines and gift items, you can find exactly what you are looking for, and perhaps things you weren't" said Steve Wilson, the Windmill's general manager. "We are bursting at the seams with more than 175 vendors and new events to enhance your experience at the Windmill.
Several of the original vendors are still at the market; others have been there more than two decades and still more have arrived in the past few years. The number of vendors, and the diversity of their products, increase each year, keeping the Windmill attractive to old and new visitors alike.
"My family and I have been Windmill vendors for 18 years," said Windmill Board Vice President Ion Zimmerman. "My wife sells produce and I make furniture. The Windmill is a great market and we are happy to be a part of it. It has sustained us as a family which is no surprise because it has a great family atmosphere. The vendors are friendly. We try to make it a fun experience for all of our visitors."
Be sure to mark your calendars for Aug. 26 and plan to spend the day at the Windmill Farm and Craft Market, a pet-friendly, family destination, to help celebrate its 30th anniversary. For more information on the event and market itself, go to www,thewindmill.com, or call 315-536-3022. You can follow us on Facebook.