Arts & Entertainment, Economic Development, and Food Service & Agriculture

Event gathers foodies at iconic location

August 21, 2015
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Holland Farmers Market
The Holland Farmers Market supplies the community with fresh fruits and vegetables, grown locally. Courtesy Junebug Photography

A historic location will be the setting for a gathering of some of the lakeshore’s best food and beverage providers.

The second annual “Gather: A Celebration of Local Food” is moving to iconic Windmill Island in Holland.

The Holland Farmers Market, a market featuring more than 75 local vendors, and Local First, an organization advocating and supporting locally owned businesses, are hosting the event from 6-9 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 25, at Windmill Island Gardens, 1 Lincoln Ave.

The event

The two organizations are partnering to showcase the best of local food from approximately 15 participating lakeshore restaurants in a cocktail-party, roaming dinner environment. Participants will have an opportunity to not only sample the small plates made by local chefs, featuring ingredients sourced directly from vendors at the Holland Farmers Market, but also taste specialty cocktails and wines prepared in West Michigan.

The different distilleries, wineries, and breweries participating in the event and representing the lakeshore include Coppercraft Distillery, Holland; Fenn Valley Vineyards, Fennville; New Holland Brewing, Holland; and Virtue Cider, Fennville.

The event also features a small pop-up market for individuals to purchase local produce and products, live music from singer and guitarist Drew Behringer and the chance to tour the gardens on Windmill Island.

This is the first event held on the island where local spirits will be served.

“The city of Holland granted an experimental ordinance change to allow spirits to be served on Windmill Island in addition to beer and wine,” Vanderberg said in a written statement. “Gather will be the first event piloting the concept of serving local spirits on the island.”

All proceeds from the event will support programming at Local First and the Holland Farmers Market. For those interested in attending the event, tickets are $30 per person and must be purchased in advance of the fundraising event. Tickets are available online at

The partnership

Samantha Vanderberg, marketing manager at Local First, said the organization and the Holland Farmers Market have been working together for years to grow the local food movement along the lakeshore.

“Gather will provide a space to celebrate this movement, commune together over dinner, and support the continued efforts of our organizations to develop strong local food systems here,” said Vanderberg.

Other sponsors include United Federal Credit Union, Worksighted and Zeeland Farm Services, according to a press release.

Kara de Alvare, marketing coordinator for the Holland Farmers Market, said the market is excited to partner with Local First and the event sponsors to bring Gather to the community again this year.

“It’s a perfect opportunity for us to highlight the quality and variety of products grown by our hard-working farmers right here in West Michigan, while showcasing the culinary talents of our local chefs along the lakeshore,” said de Alvare. “We’re also thrilled everyone will have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful scenery of Windmill Island Gardens during this year’s event.”

Participating businesses

  • Alpen Rose Restaurant, Holland
  • Baker Events by Gilmore Catering, Holland
  • Boatwerks Waterfront Restaurant, Holland
  • CityVu Bistro, Holland
  • Coppercraft Distillery, Holland
  • Distinctive Dining, Saugatuck
  • Fenn Valley Vineyards, Fennville
  • Fustini’s Oils and Vinegars, Holland
  • JK’s Bakehouse & Deli, Holland
  • Lemonjello’s Coffee, Holland
  • Marzec Chocolates, Holland
  • New Holland Brewing Co., Holland
  • Relish, A Personal Chef Service, Holland
  • Salt and Pepper Savory Grill & Pub, Holland
  • Salt of the Earth, Fennville
  • Wicks Park Bar & Grille, Saugatuck
  • Virtue Cider & Catering, Fennville

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