In 1976 as the country was preparing for a massive national celebration, the leaders of the Ligonier Bicentennial planning committee tapped John West to organize a farmers market as a part of the local festivities. That year twelve vendors setup their tables and spread their wares in a building then known as the American Legion barn which is today known as the Mill Creek, home of the Valley Youth Network. The vendors who regularly attended the market during the first season were enthusiastic about their sales and profits and were ready to do it again. The Market was incorporated as a Pennsylvania non-profit corporation in March of 1977 and there was no looking back.
The venue has changed a number of times: from the barn, to the high school, to the grounds adjacent to the barn, to the present location on the Loyalhanna Watershed Association Farm at the corner of Springer Road and the Old Lincoln Highway in Ligonier Township. From the modest start of twelve vendors, over one hundred vendors setup the tents and stalls during the summer. A shopper can find a marvelous selection of farm fresh produce, locally grown plants and flowers, delicious prepared foods and beverages and a dizzing array of arts and crafts items.
Twelve volunteer members of the board of directors comprising of vendors and interested citizens plus a paid manager and an operations coordinator, manage and operate the market for twenty-one Saturdays each summer. Because of the wonderful ambience of Ligonier and the interest and vitality of all the participants, the Ligonier Country Market has become THE most successful farmers market in Western Pennsylvania, as well as one of the oldest and largest.