Downtown Des Moines Farmers' Market: More than 40,000 people expected to kick off opening day
Between the Downtown Des Moines Farmers Market and the Winter Farmers' Market, central Iowans can enjoy farmers' markets during all four seasons. That's four seasons of live entertainment, freshly baked goods, produce, arts and crafts, fresh flowers and decorations for patrons to savor. Brian Taylor Carlson/The Register
After a long, harsh winter, this is day the people of Des Moines have all been waiting for.
Around 40,000 people are expected to attend the opening day of the 44th annual Downtown Farmers’ Market on Saturday, May 4.
The warm weather event takes place every Saturday morning from May 4 to Oct. 26, 2019. Hours are 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., with a later start time during October when hours are 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
The farmers' market spans nine city blocks in Downtown Des Moines in the Historic Court District on Court Avenue from Water Street to Fifth Avenue and extending north and south on Second Avenue, Third Street and Fourth Street.
Supporting nearly 300 local small business owners including farmers, producers, bakers and artists, the Farmers' Market represents 50 counties across the state of Iowa.
Featured at the marker are a variety of attractions and activities including shopping for fresh produce, seasonal flowers, farm fresh eggs and cheese, locally produced wine and fresh baked goods as well as a variety of Iowa-raised meat including beef, pork, bison, chicken, turkey, goat, rabbit and lamb.
Patrons can also eat breakfast, enjoy the atmosphere, meet with family and friends and enjoy live entertainment.
“The Downtown Farmers’ Market supports local small businesses around the state and provides something for everyone, whether it is shopping, eating, watching performers or spending time with friends and family,” said Kelly Foss, director of the market. “The Market is part of the fabric of our region and adds to the vibrancy of Downtown Des Moines.”
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The Market’s presenting sponsor is UnityPoint Health – Des Moines. UnityPoint staff and service lines are on site every Saturday to provide fun and educational programs, health screenings, safety checks and seasonally-appropriate recipe suggestions from their dietitians. The UnityPoint booth is located at the corner of Third Street and Court Avenue.
The Meals From The Market program, sponsored by Great Western Bank, provides thousands of pounds of fresh food to Des Moines Area Religious Council emergency pantries where it is distributed to 13 pantry sites.
Dedicated volunteers for the program will be available to accept food donations every Saturday during market hours. Market attendees can drop off donations at the bright yellow Meals From The Market tent located on the corner of Second Street and Court Avenue.
The Grapevine Tunes Music Series sponsored by the Fourth and Court Hy-Vee is a program that encourages young musicians and artists between the ages of 5 and 18 to continue to develop their talents while emphasizing local arts and culture in Des Moines.
This music series offers talented young musicians an opportunity to perform in a unique outdoor street-concert style setting, in front of thousands of market visitors, during three days this season: June 8, Aug. 10 and Oct. 12.
The Downtown Farmers’ Market began in 1976 with just 15 vendors and an average of 200 shoppers. Today, the market supports more than 300 vendors and welcomes an average of 25,000 visitors each Saturday.