Farmers Market set to begin season May 18

Kaye Nurmi, left, talks with Joe Newman of Mighty Soil Farm about the plants he had available at a Wednesday evening Marquette Farmers Market in a previous season. The downtown farmers market launches for the season on May 18. (Journal file photo)

MARQUETTE — The farmers market at the downtown Marquette Commons lot is set to open for the 2024 season on Saturday, May 18.

The 12,000-square-foot pedestrian plaza and support building will be open on Saturday mornings from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Oct. 26, and on Wednesday evenings from 5 to 8 p.m. June 19 through Aug. 28.

Brian Shier, farmers market manager with the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, said the Wednesday night market was successful last year, so it was brought back this year. This gives shoppers a weeknight evening option and keeps things fresh.

Shoppers can also take advantage of the Marquette social district. Farmers market customers can purchase alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages from participating downtown businesses.

The Saturday market has more than 100 vendors, while the Wednesday market has 70 or more vendors this year.

“Lots of produce is available at both markets, but the Wednesday market is a bit heavier on artisan vendors,” Shier said.

Customers may park on the north side of the plaza in the Commons parking lot, or on the south side in the Pathways Community Health parking lot. Public parking in the Pathways lot is only available on the weekends and weekdays after 5 p.m. Shier said a few tweaks have been made to the parking, but more long-term parking improvements are planned in 2025.

To celebrate 25 years of the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, the DDA is launching a new program — market memberships. This exclusive offering will give 100 market customers a way to elevate their experience. Market members will enjoy access to special benefits, exclusive offers, and a voice in market decisions. Residents may become a member by donating a minimum of $100 in cash or with a check, or $105 with a credit or debit card. The program will be limited to 100 memberships. All money collected through the market member program will directly support programming and market vendors.

Members receive a garlic pin, and discount on merchandise, including T-shirts, stickers and tote bags. Members will also have an opportunity to give feedback to the market.

To sign up, come by the information booth when the market opens, or drop by the DDA office on Washington Street from 10 am. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Next Saturday, a free magazine, Taste the Local Difference, will be available to patrons.

There will be live music at every market. On the website at www.mqtfarmersmarket.com, there is a map where customers can locate the booth of each vendor. Also if you hover over the music stage online, it will display the name of the band scheduled to perform on that particular day.

Vendors serving food to customers during the market include Moonlight Meadows Pizza, Trippy Hippy Sandos ice cream sandwiches and Becky’s Roadside Refreshment (dairy-free frozen treats). Several other food vendors are unconfirmed at this time.

In August, National Farmers Market Week will be observed on Aug. 3, 7, and 10.

The farmers market regular season officially comes to a close at the end of October, however, there will be a Thanksgiving market in November and a Yule Market in December.

Most vendors accept cash with small bills preferred. Most vendors accept debit or credit cards and contactless payments such as Venmo and PayPal.

The farmers market participates in food assistance programs, including SNAP, formerly known as food stamps. Michigan EBT Bridge cards can be taken to the information booth and the market cashier will swipe your EBT card in exchange for tokens to shop with.

Customers and vendors may not bring or keep pets on the market plaza during the market. The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market is licensed as a food establishment and therefore must follow food establishment pet regulations. Service animals are allowed and must be trained in work or a task that mitigates their handler’s disability. All other pets, including therapy and emotional support animals, are not allowed inside the market.

Pets left in a vehicle are subject to enforcement by the Marquette City Police Department.


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