(BLOOMINGTON) – The City of Bloomington welcomes spring with the opening of the 45th season of the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market on April 6. Market hours are 8 a.m. through 1 p.m. each Saturday from April through September, and from 9 a.m. through 1 p.m. in October and November.
Located at Eighth and Morton Streets in Showers Common next to City Hall, the market showcases food, plants, and other farm products sold by local growers along with the offerings of prepared food vendors. Admission to the Farmers’ Market is free.
As in previous years, shoppers using Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) dollars can double their face value when they exchange them for “Market Bucks.” Up to $18 in SNAP dollars (also known as food stamps) may be redeemed for $36 in Market Bucks. Available in $3 increments, Market Bucks can be used just like cash at the market to buy food stamp-eligible farm products.
“There’s no better sign of the start of spring in Bloomington than the season’s first Farmers’ Market,” said Mayor John Hamilton. “Our market is renowned as the state’s largest, and the connections it forges — between shoppers and growers; neighbors, visitors, and students — help our community feel close-knit.”
In addition to local food shopping, the weekly market offers opportunities for education and entertainment. The Naturalist at Market offers nature interpretation for all ages. The Active Living Coalition health fair will take place from 9 a.m. until noon on Showers Plaza, in front of City Hall and next to the Market. HoChunk Station will present a powwow dance exhibition on Plaza One-A on the B-Line Trail from 9:45 a.m. until 11:15 a.m. Opening day will also give visitors their first weekly opportunity to connect with a City official for casual conversation on municipal issues. The season opens with City of Bloomington Utilities Director Vic Kelson greeting visitors from 10:30 a.m. to noon for this weekly engagement, known as “Mayor at the Market.”
Farm products anticipated to be available for purchase at the season’s first market include carrots, radishes, kale, chard, mushrooms, sprouts, micro-greens, herbs, meats, cheeses, honey, maple syrup, and jams and jellies. Prepared food vendors in attendance this season include Muddy Fork Bakery, Sweet Claire, Brown County Coffee, Feast Market & Cellar, Piccoli Dolci, Primally Inspired Eats, Scholars Inn Bakehouse, Sazon, Kettle of Corn, Pili’s Party Taco, Aahaa Chai, The Inkwell, Macarons & Co., and Wild Alaska Salmon.
The Farmers’ Market also offers gift certificates for items sold there. Gift certificates in $5 or $20 increments are available for purchase at the Parks and Recreation Department’s information table at Market each Saturday and are accepted by almost all the vendors at the Market. Grocery carts are also available near the Parks table on a first-come, first served basis.
Temporary bike racks are available on Saturdays along the B-Line Trail at Seventh and Eighth Streets. There are permanent bicycle racks in front of City Hall, next to the “Bloomington Waters” limestone sculpture/fountain. Free vehicle parking on Saturdays is available north of City Hall in Red permit spaces, and in IU “EM-S” permit spaces. On-street pay parking can be found at the meters for $1 per hour. Additional pay parking (50 cents per hour) is available in the Morton Street Garage. Bloomington Transit Route #2 stops at the Market once each hour on Saturdays.
Public restrooms and an ATM are available inside City Hall. Dogs are not permitted at the market on the paved area of Showers Common, where the farm vendors are set up.
Sign up to receive a weekly Farmers’ Market email on the Farmers’ Market website at bloomington.in.gov/farmersmarket. The Farmers’ Market is also on Facebook; search “Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market.”
For more information on Farmers’ Market or available products at the market, call the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation office at 812-349-3700 or visit the Farmers’ Market website at bloomington.in.gov/farmersmarket.