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Wednesday, the first Coon Rapids Farmers Market kicked off for the season. Farmers, bakers and artisans sell food, flowers and even essential oils from the parking lot of the Coon Rapids Ice Center.Susan Brown brought her two children, Oliver and Lillian, on the first day.“We love the fresh produce and meeting the local farmers. It's nice.”Dorothy Gantter sells sweets, breads, cookies, and jam. She’s sold at the weekly market in Coon Rapids for three years.“Because this is a really good market, a lot of people come,” says Gantter.The farmers market will run through the duration of the summer and into fall. Foot traffic is expected to be steady. Coon Rapids mom and shopper, Beth Weixel, says she enjoys the variety and the closeness of the Coon Rapids market.“Well, we used to go to the Minneapolis farmers market,” she says.“And we like to get local produce but that's not really local to here, and it’s quite a drive, so we prefer to come here and get some local food. And the kids can see where the food actually comes from.”In the heat of summer, it can also serves as a two-for-one stop for some families, like Brown and her children. The city's new splash pad is now open right next door.“We’re checking out the splash pad, first time to try that, and we're coming to the Coon Rapids farmers market,” says Brown.For her children it became an afternoon of local discovery that Brown hopes will lead to a little adventure at the dinner table.“In the past we've discovered some new fruits and veggies and tried them. So exploring new foods is always good,” she says.“New for me too! Ones that I've never cooked before. I didn't know what to do with it but [my son] asked the farmer, ‘how do you cook it and what do you do with it?’ and we tried it out!”Coon Rapids Farmers Market (through October 10, 2018)Every Wednesday from 3:00 – 6:00 p.m.Coon Rapids Ice Center parking lot11000 Crooked Lake Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433Click here to learn more.Coon Rapids Splash PadEvery day from 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.Boulevard Plaza11000 Crooked Lake Blvd NW, Coon Rapids, MN 55433Click here to learn more.Jennifer Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org