THAI TOWN, LOS ANGELES, CA, March 4, 2017 On Saturday, March 4th, the Thai Community Development Center (Thai CDC) celebrated the Grand Opening of the second day of its East Hollywood Certified Farmers Market with a fun, family-friendly event. The Market has been bringing fresh produce to the community on Thursday evenings since 2012. Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Department of Agricultures Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP), the Thai CDC is now offering another farmers market day on Saturdays.
The ceremony opened with a procession lead by Wat Thais musicians ensemble playing the traditional long drum. They were accompanied by Thai dancers. The drummers paraded around the Farmers Market, creating a joyous atmosphere and preparing the crowd for exciting things to come.
Opening the festivities onstage was Chanchanit (Chancee) Martorell, Executive Director of the Thai CDC. She spoke about the importance of increasing access to fresh produce in a community suffering from food insecurity and chronic health conditions. She, in turn, introduced Laura Friedman, State Assemblymember of the 43rd District and then Mitch OFarrell, Los Angeles City Council 13th District. He addressed issues such as how his district will benefit greatly from having another farmers market. The Royal Thai Consul General Tanee Sangrat, continued the program, welcoming attendees and talking about the critical importance of disease prevention in the Thai community with increased access to fresh produce. Representatives from Hunger Action Los Angeles, Los Angeles Metro and Office of Congressman Schiff, Congressional District 28 wrapped up the proceedings, extending best wishes to everyone involved.
Thai CDC is very grateful to the USDA, Metro, McCormack Baron Salazar, and Councilmember Mitch O Farrell for their support in making possible our farmers market expansion in East Hollywood to better serve a very disadvantaged community suffering from health risk factors helping them achieve an improved state of health and well-being, stated Chanchanit Martorell, Thai CDC Executive Director.
At noon, the festivities continued with a cooking demonstration by Chef Tui from world-renowned Thai restaurant, Jitlada. Thai food enthusiasts learned more about cooking Pad Kee Mao and enjoyed samples made with fresh produce from market farmers. Then, the crowd was revved up by an energetic appearance by Asian hip-hop artist, Jason Chu. Singer-songwriter, Rich Sheldon continued the good vibes, playing his brand of upbeat rock.
Kids had a great time watching The Inflators create amazing balloon art. And butterflies and flowers sprung up on little faces all over the market, thanks to the talents of Rainbow Painted Smiles. Guests picked their own fresh Farmers Market ingredients and pedaled their way into smoothies with the markets famous Smoothie Bike. And West Coast University pharmacy students made free blood pressure evaluations, vision checks, and consultations on general health available to anyone stopping by their booth.
Special thanks to sponsors of the event including Metro; HALA; Councilmember Office of Mitch OFarrell; McCormack Baron Salazar; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Participating farmers included C&L Farms, Backyard Grown Farms, Buenrostro Farms, Segura Farms, and Munoz Farms.