Update July 2016: The business has re-branded and is now known as Ha! Funland. Buildings are newly painted in bright colors and more games and activities have been added (arcade and carnival games, 3-foot chess, life-size “Operation” game, etc.).
We’ve had the radio tuned to 92.9 KQKA while opening the cottages this week, so it was hard to miss the repeated ads for the Strongman Competition at The Harvest and Artists Market. Come Saturday, we had nothing in the fridge for lunch so it was a no-brainer to head up the hill for pizza and unique entertainment. The market is off the beaten path, surrounded by open fields. I was expecting one large barn-like structure, but instead found a cluster of unique buildings and brightly painted signs. The complex feels like it was created by Bohemians with a strong sense of whimsy.
We parked by the Strongman Competition and watched a few contestants tackle the Milk Jug Sprint. The spectators seemed relaxed, but the risk for injury was ever-present, especially when hauling the 175-pound jug – impressive! Later, we saw a Chain Pull; how do they come up with these events?
Hunger drove us up a small hill to the buildings complex where we passed by a solar powered, wood-fired bakery and a rustic building housing a clothing vendor. Of course we paused at the fanciful gravity defying room, 11-foot purple T-Rex, and weather rock.
The main building held a hodgepodge of artist and vendor stalls that ranged from flea-market-like wares to hand painted wine glasses. It was a sultry day up on the hill, the building wasn’t crowded by any stretch, and the market felt sleepy. We blew through quickly so I may not have given this area a fair shake, but it didn’t impress. The inside dining area had rustic tables and board games; we grabbed a game on our way out to the front porch where wood-fired pizza and drinks were available. Once pizza was ordered, we settled in to play Trivial Pursuit but could have also taken in cornhole or ping-pong.
We enjoyed the pizza, although Matthew’s pepperoni and cheese refused to stay on the crust, and my white pizza with onions and garlic needed some livening up with crushed red pepper and a dash of salt. Still, the food was a good value at $7 per pizza with 25 cent toppings, and the wood-fired crust was delicious. If we had more energy, we could have worked off our pizza on the disc golf course or the nature trail complete with four exercise stations.
In all, the market is a cute place and appears to have been developed with child-like glee. I’m glad we popped in, but it probably won’t become a must-hit destination on its own. More likely, we’d incorporate a market-stop into a larger wine or beer tasting day with out-of-town visitors.
Address: 8383 Gallagher Rd., Hammondsport, NY