'Butter Boy' wants to spread the news

Skylark and other vendors rise early to prepare for the Saturday City Market.

James Skylark, a.k.a. the Butter Boy, rises at 3am to press fresh juices and move the homemade butter he made the day before from his freezer to the insulated coolers he’ll pack into his car with other gear to set up at the Charlottesville City Market before 7am. This is his first year at the Market–- or Markets to be more precise, since there are three separate markets around town this year.

“Most people don’t know about all the markets,” says Skylark, who contacted Dish recently to remind folks.

“Tuesdays are much easier,” he says. That’s when he opens up shop at the new Pen Park Market that runs from 3 to 7pm. “Families come to make a night of it, with plenty of room in the shade for picnics, plenty of parking, and a playground right there for the kids. You won’t be elbow-to-elbow with other shoppers.”

If you’re a no-nonsense type, says Skylark, the Farmers in the Park at Meade Park, open on Wednesdays from 3 to 7pm, is your best bet for a quick stop to pick up fresh goods. “It’s like a compact, no-frills grocery market,” he says, “and you can also catch a quick bite, a cold popsicle, or a sweet lemonade.”

Of course, while the Downtown Saturday Market presents an early-morning challenge for vendors like Skylark, he wouldn’t miss it for the world.

“No market in the area can match its variety and scope,” he says. “Shopping there is an experience in itself.”

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