BRENTWOOD -- The Brentwood Farmers Market may soon expand into the heart of downtown by setting up booths along Oak Street closer to the redesigned City Park and new City Hall.

As the Saturday morning event has been continually growing to draw between 2,000 and 3,000 attendees each week, its organizers and city leaders agree that it should expand before the end of this season in the fall. The Brentwood Farmers Market is one of the largest in Contra Costa County, according to Pacific Coast Farmers' Market Association regional manager Greg Pursley.

Pacific Coast organizes multiple farmers markets countywide in Martinez, Walnut Creek, Antioch, Danville, Concord, Clayton and Brentwood.

"It is supposed be like a community center," Pursley said of the community gathering event to purchase farm fresh products. "Brentwood is unique in that two-thirds of the farmers are local farmers. You see local farmers out there selling produce. Even the outside farmers have their customers getting to know them."

The growing Brentwood Farmers Market added 10 new food producers this year, which has drawn more people from surrounding cities, Pursley noted.

Pacific Coast tried to place the additional vendors in a small parking lot on First Street, but it was too narrow and not usable. Currently, the Brentwood Farmers Market runs down First Street between Oak and Chestnut streets from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturdays through Nov. 17.

"All of the shops on Oak Street were 100 percent behind it," Pursley said. "On Oak, it will flow and the market will be closer to public parking."

The expansion will not only put the Brentwood Farmers Market closer to the city's new 280-stall parking garage but also more toward the entire Civic Center Plaza.

Brentwood Chamber of Commerce President Paul Kelly said that the newly revitalized downtown with wider sidewalks and bigger trees has also brought large crowds to the community-building event.

"Brentwood's ties to the agricultural community provide it with more exposure for events like the farmers market," Kelly said. "People are recognizing the great vendors and local farmers there. It is becoming more and more attended, so we are responding to the public's requests."

Pursley said that they are hoping to add the additional space this year and are currently working with the city on expediting the process to start the expansion in September. He added that the city has been very supportive and if it doesn't happen this year, it should next year.

Little Miss Everything, located on Oak, provides face painting outside for the children during the Brentwood Farmers Market and owner Renae Gonzalez said that the additional foot traffic from the expansion would be welcomed. Gonzalez said that she frequents the weekly event and all of the downtown events with her family.

"We are very excited," she said. "For us, we don't leave downtown. We eat and shop down here. It is the best place to raise a family and live."

Contact Paula King at 925-779-7174 or pking@bayareanewsgroup.com.

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