Spring Hat Parade at Mowers’ Market in Woodstock this Saturday

Mowers’ Market (photo by Dion Ogust)

The Mower family of Woodstock is gearing up to begin its 37th season holding flea markets every Saturday and Sunday on their old homestead: a grassy two-acre field on Maple Lane, one block from the Village Green. And for the eighth season now, in July and August, there’ll be markets midweek on Wednesdays, too.

Opening day is Saturday, May 17, featuring something new this year that Janine Mower says that she hopes will become an annual tradition at the market: a Spring Hat Parade. Anybody who wishes to participate should line up at 12:45 p.m. at the corner of Deanie’s Alley and Maple Lane wearing any type of hat that expresses spring. At 1 p.m. the parade will go once around the field as three volunteer judges choose their favorite hat – the judges will decide based on “whatever strikes their fancy,” Janine says – and its wearer will receive a gift certificate to the Mowers’ flea market.

Because this will be the first-ever Spring Hat Parade, the logistics of it aren’t set in stone. “It’s just about celebrating the fashion of hats, and celebrating ourselves,” says Janine. The idea came about after she began wearing hats at the markets a few years back. With a history of melanoma in her family, Janine wanted to lessen the risks of working outside in the sun all day. Now that she has a good collection of hats at this point, she got to talking with some of the market vendors who also love hats, and voilà! The idea was born. As a bonus, Janine says, they get to spread a little awareness about preventing skin cancer as well.

Pets are welcome, and admission to the event is free.

The Mowers’ Saturday and Sunday Markets are a tradition in Woodstock for many, who come to see what’s new (or old, as the case may be) in the eclectic mix of antiques, crafts and collectibles, farm produce, vintage designer clothing and other offerings. Even Janine first discovered the markets growing up as a teenager in Woodstock, where she’d go to check out the jewelry “like all the other girls in town,” she says. After marrying into the Mower family, Janine now works with husband John, who started the markets 37 years ago, and other family members to put on the weekly flea markets from May through early November.

Janine is also a registered nurse with 30 years’ experience, and has written several local history books, most recently Legendary Locals of Woodstock for Arcadia Press, co-authored with Woodstock town historian Richard Heppner. Janine authored Woodstock (Images of America) and Woodstock Revisited (Images of America), also for Arcadia Press, and in 2007 self-published a history of the Mower family, American Tapestry: The Mowers of Maple Lane, chronicling 100 years of a Woodstock family.

Spring Hat Parade, Saturday, May 17, 12:45 p.m., free, Mowers’ Saturday Market, Deanie’s Alley & Maple Lane, Woodstock; woodstockfleamarket@hvc.rr.com.



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