Lewes farmers’ market to host Hoedown fundraiser

The Historic Lewes Farmers Market recently announced that tickets for its Hoedown event are on sale. The party will start at 6:30 p.m. on April 26 at the Officer’s Club at Cape Henlopen State Park and continue “’til the cows come home.”

The HLFM Hoedown benefit is designed to celebrate the community and the producer-only Lewes-based market, which welcomed more than 50,000 visitors last year. The biannual event features food grown by farmers from the market, prepared this year by Executive Chef Bill Clifton from Henlopen City Oyster House.

Organizers said the Hoedown offers a chance to have a real farm-to-table feast with friends who support the weekly market, and then guests can kick up their heels to the live band Michael Shockley & the Moonshiners.

A highlight of the evening will be a live auction with a chance to bid on offerings such as a personal guided tour of the Winterthur estate and gardens led by the curator and director of its Horticulture Department for 25 years; a weekend for four at an apartment centrally located in Ottawa; a party and a tour for the winning bidder and 20 of their guests at the Dogfish Head Craft Brewery; a week at a home in Key West and much more.

Funds from the 2014 Hoedown will help the Market operate so that their 36 local farmers and vendors can grow, support their families and continue to build the local food movement in Delmarva, organizers said.

The funds will also help to support and expand the Market’s educational and charitable programs, including: scholarships for farmers to attend sustainability conferences; farmers’ market workshops to help educate farmers on how to be successful at farmers markets; demonstrations by local chefs and others every Saturday during the regular season; and support for the “Bonus Bucks” program that provides matching funds for customers using SNAP, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly known as food stamps).

Tickets for the Hoedown cost $95 and can be ordered online at www.historiclewesfarmersmarket.org, or send a check to Historic Lewes Farmers Market, P.O. Box 185, Nassau, DE 19969. For more information, email historiclewesfarmersmarket@comcast.net or call (302-644-1436). Organizers noted that the event always sells out quickly, so those hoping to attend are being urged to get their tickets sooner rather than later.