Jacksonville Farmers Market Celebrates 75 Years

October 11, 2013 21 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Many believe that Jacksonville is a community that lacks a marketable attraction. The type of unique and enjoyable travel destination that helps a city create a name for itself. Just west of downtown, we already have that type of destination in the Jacksonville Farmers Market. This weekend, the Jacksonville Farmers Market is celebrating 75 years of serving the First Coast in the form of a three-day Anniversary Celebration & Fall Festival filled with family-friendly activities, entertainment, and food, creating an ideal opportunity for the greater community to explore this special local landmark.

The Jacksonville Farmers Market offers Northeast Florida’s largest and widest selection of fresh and healthy foods. Founded in 1938, it's one of the few real working authentic farmers markets in the region and the oldest continuously operated public market in Florida. Visited year round by up to 25,000 people a week, shoppers from North Florida and throughout the Southeastern U.S., along with tourists from around the world, enjoy savings up to 70+% over retail and other outlets on local, ethnic, organic and specialty produce and various products including seafood, artisan breads and baked goods, stir-fry, flowers and plants, honey, boiled peanuts, jellies, jams, syrups, gourmet dressings, and much more.  
While it is an unique local historic attraction, the Jacksonville Farmers Market is also a major economic engine and small business incubator anchoring Jacksonville's urban core. Employing over 100 people, the market is utilized by dozens of permanent vendors, numerous seasonal and daily vendors and farmers. Fine restaurants, food trucks, caterers, institutions, non-profits, area produce retailers, and more rely on the daily market’s retailing and wholesaling operations.

In celebration of JFM’s 75th anniversary, a celebration, with free admission, will occur over the next three days. Events kick off at 9 AM today with a live broadcast of WJCT/89.9's First Coast Connect, which is hosted by Melissa Ross. The fun runs 9 AM to 4 PM, daily, through this Sunday, October 13, 2013, and includes ongoing musical entertainment, a kids’ zone complete with ponies, face painting, balloons, bounce house and slide, , classic cars, exhibits and demonstrations.  From 10 AM to 2 PM on Saturday, visitors will enjoy the Jacksonville Jaguars’ ROAR cheerleaders, a football skill activity zone and game ticket and prize giveaways.  Food offerings will include great local fare, courtesy of a Saturday/Sunday Food Truck Rally and the popular Jacksonville Farmers Market staple, Andy’s Farmers Market Grill.
According to Greg Tison, general manager of the Jacksonville Farmers Market,
“Everyone is invited to come out and support this unique and enchanting Jacksonville landmark during its 75th anniversary celebration. Visitors will discover, as multiple generations before them, that we have the widest and freshest selection of local, ethnic and specialty produce, including organic, in Northeast Florida and Southeast Georgia.  Shoppers will also be pleasantly surprised to find other great shopping opportunities including fresh Mayport shrimp and local seafood, artisan baked goods, boiled peanut, smoked meats, olives, pickles, area honey, a natural fruit juice bar, spices, jellies, jams, assorted plants, and much more.  Even healthy pet treats!”  Tison adds, “Since its founding in 1938, Jacksonville Farmers Market has been an integral part of the local and small business community in our city, thriving on community patronage, and we hope to continue doing so for many years into the future.”
Being a working market, the complex features covered stalls for all-weather comfort, an ATM on premises, and drive-up parking for shopping ease. Select vendors also accept EBT/debit/credit cards. Open to the public every day of the year from dawn (7 AM) to dusk (6 PM), the Jacksonville Farmers Market is located at 1810 W. Beaver Street, only minutes away from Downtown Jacksonville.  

Scheduled lineup includes:
* Friday: WJCT/89.9 “First Coast Connect” Live Broadcast from JFM, 9 to 10 AM
* Saturday & Sunday: Jacksonville Food Trucks Rally & Andy's Farmers Market Grill, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday: Jacksonville Jaguars' ROAR Cheerleaders, Ticket & Prize Giveaways, Football Skills Zone, 10 AM to 2 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Ongoing musical and comedy entertainment, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Kids Zone, 9 AM to 4PM, featuring:

-- Pony rides
-- Bounce house & slide
-- Face painting & balloons
* Friday to Sunday: Exhibits & demonstrations, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Saturday & Sunday: Classic cars & more, 9 AM to 4 PM
* Everyday: NE Florida's widest & freshest local, ethnic, & specialty produce & other food selection at savings to 70+, 7 AM to 6 PM

For more information, call (904) 354-2821 or visit Jaxfarmersmarket.com on the web, or on Facebook at: facebook.com/JaxFarmersMarket.

Next Page: A Look Inside The Jacksonville Farmers Market Photo Tour

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