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Opening Day of Des Moines' Downtown Farmers' Market Season Is Saturday

May 2, 2017

DOWNTOWN DES MOINES, IOWA – This Saturday, May 6 is Opening Day of the Downtown Farmers’ Market presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines.


New this season, The Market has partnered with the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority (DART) to offer extended Saturday service for The Market. In the months of May through October, the Downtown D-Line will start Saturday service at 7 a.m. Attendees can park their vehicles anywhere along the route, hop on the bus and be dropped off near The Market between First Street and Fifth Avenue on the D-Line route. The D-Line runs primarily on Grand Avenue and Locust Street and uses the Walnut Street bridge to connect to the Historic East Village. Bus stops are located almost every block and marked specifically for the D-Line. D-Line buses will run approximately every 10 minutes on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more here.


Saturday marks the start of The Market’s 42nd season, and attendees are encouraged to arrive early at 7 a.m. at 3rd Street and Court Avenue for the ringing of the cowbell, which signifies the official opening of The Market. The Market is produced by the Downtown Community Alliance, which is a part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. It takes place every Saturday morning from May 6 through Oct. 28, 2017. Hours are 7 a.m. to noon, with a later start time during October when hours are 8 a.m. to noon. The Market spans nine city blocks in the Historic Court District, from First Street to Fifth Avenue. It extends north and south on Second Avenue, Third Street and Fourth Street.


The Downtown Farmers’ Market presents Iowa producers from 50 counties across Iowa, offering locally produced fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs, meat, cheese, wine and much more. The Market supports nearly 300 farmers, growers and artisan food entrepreneurs. The Market offers a variety of attractions and activities including shopping for fresh produce, meats and more, eating breakfast, enjoying the atmosphere, meeting with family and friends, and live entertainment.


Throughout The Market season, patrons are encouraged to participate in the Meals From The Market program sponsored by Great Western Bank. Dedicated volunteers will be available to accept food donations every Saturday during Market hours. Acceptable food donations include: fresh produce, baked goods and non-perishable food. Patrons can drop off donations at the bright yellow Meals From The Market tent located on the corner of Second Street and Court Avenue. Meals From The Market collects an average of 2,000 pounds of fresh food each Saturday to donate to Des Moines Area Religious Council (DMARC) pantries, where food contributions are distributed to 13 Central Iowa food pantry sites. The 2016 Meals From The Market program yielded 52,000 pounds of donated fresh food, the equivalent to an estimated $160,000 or 44,813 meals.


UnityPoint Health – Des Moines is The Market’s presenting sponsor. UnityPoint Health – Des Moines 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 dieticians.


The Downtown Farmers’ Market began in 1976 with just 15 vendors and an average of 200 shoppers. Today, The Market supports nearly 300 vendors and welcomes an average of 25,000 visitors each Saturday. An estimated 40,000 shoppers typically visit on Opening Day and key peak dates throughout the season. The Downtown Farmers’ Market has been recognized nationally by publications including The Daily Meal, Shape Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine and Country Living Magazine.


Find more information at desmoinesfarmersmarket.com.

About the Downtown Farmers’ Market

The Downtown Farmers’ Market is presented by UnityPoint Health – Des Moines and produced by the Downtown Community Alliance. The Downtown Farmers’ Market is held every Saturday morning May – October in the Historic Court District in Downtown Des Moines. The Market also produces a Downtown Winter Farmers’ Market in November and December. The Downtown Community Alliance, a part of the Greater Des Moines Partnership, provides a consistent and constant focus on developing and maintaining a vibrant Downtown core. For more information please visit desmoinesfarmersmarket.com, find us on Facebook at facebook.com/downtownfarmersmarket, Twitter and Instagram at @dtfarmersmarket #DTFM.