The cream of the crop of Harker Heights’ independent artists, farmers, and purveyors of crafts joined together to honor military personnel on the Saturday before Labor Day.

They offered all active-duty soldiers and veterans a 10 percent discount on every item at the Harker Heights Farmers Market, which is held weekly in front of Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.

Coffee vendor Alex Jones said a sizeable number of veterans and military folks had shopped Saturday. He also said most of the participants — vendors and organizers alike — had either served in the military or had connections to someone in the service.

“Probably 50 percent of the people here are involved with the military one way or another,” he said.

Produce on hand consisted of mostly eggplants and peppers, reflecting the dry, hot weather Heights has seen this summer.

One vendor specialized in hula hoops, and her kids were busy demonstrating the magic of that particular toy. Another young man was seen juggling eggplants.

Craftsman Inez Aguilar, Sr, showed off his wood art, which included miniature picnic tables holding vintage mustard and ketchup squeezers as well as placeholders for the traditional salt and pepper shakers.

Across from Aguilar, another craftsmen sold full-bodied, lacquered wooden deck chairs with cup holders. There was even a love seat.

Military Appreciation Day at the Farmers Market is just one of several ‘theme-oriented’ first Saturdays at the Medical Center.

Albert Conner of Angels Products discussed his dream-catchers and the market as the temperature slowly approached a noontime 90 degrees.

“It’s a really nice market,” he said. “Not too big.”

Kids were invited to make cards for the City of Harker Heights’ Adopt-A-Unit, the 3rd Cavalry Regiment deployed in Iraq.

The market is held every Saturday through the end of October from 8 a.m. to 1.p.m. at 850 W. Center Expressway in Heights in the Seton parking lot.

Over 30 vendors participate regularly.

The Harker Heights Parks and Recreation Department started the Farmers Market in 2011, originally held at Carl Levin Park.

After what one organizer said were “grass issues,” in 2013 the market moved to the pavement at Seton.

The weekly market is visible from I-14. Just look for the line of white canopies on the north side of the hospital.

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