Downtown farmers’, artisans’ markets return; get the 2016 schedule

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A bounty of fresh--and flashy--produce is among the offerings at the seasonal downtown farmers' market, which picks back up this Saturday. Courtesy photos.
A bounty of fresh – and flashy – produce is among the offerings at the seasonal downtown farmers’ market, which picks back up this Saturday. Courtesy photos.

Although you wouldn’t know it by the chilly breezes blowing through town lately, spring has indeed arrived and with it comes the return of two seasonal weekend attractions.

Both the Riverfront Farmers’ Market and Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace return this weekend, bringing with them the opportunity to peruse, en plein air, for a variety of fresh produce, homemade goodies, original art and handcrafted wares.

Located in the parking lot on the corner of North Water and Princess streets, the farmers’ market will once again include fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese and eggs from local farms, as well as plants, flowers and herbs. Vendors will also offer up seafood, honey, sweet treats, pickled items, jams and jellies and wine.

The market, which once lined Water Street, was moved to a nearby parking lot last year to make room for riverfront road improvements.
The market, which once lined Water Street, was moved to a nearby parking lot last year to make room for riverfront road improvements.

It’s open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Saturday through Nov. 19, save for Oct. 8 during Riverfest. The upcoming kickoff comes behind the opening of a new farmers’ market earlier this week in Ogden Park. That market – an offshoot of the downtown fixture – will run Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. through Nov. 16.

Then on Sundays through November, Front Street between Market and Dock will close to vehicle traffic between 10 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. to allow shoppers to mingle with area craftsman at the artisans’ marketplace.

The ever-popular street fair features a rotating list of more than 30 vendors showcasing everything from birdhouses to Boho chic upcycled clothing, hand-fired pottery to pop art, custom jewelry to colorful handbags and accessories.

Created as a venue for growers, producers, artisans and crafters to sell their goods sans middlemen, the markets also aim to educate shoppers about local farming, seasonal eating and the thriving arts community, in addition to providing a social, family-friendly activity.

Upcycled goods, like these brightened vintage suitcases and wine bags, will be for sale each Sunday at the downtown artisans' street fair.
Upcycled goods, like these brightened vintage suitcases and wine bags, will be for sale each Sunday at the downtown artisans’ street fair.