The Madison Farmers Market returns to downtown Madison from 2 to 7 p.m. Thursday on Waverly Place.
The annual event brings together community members, chefs, downtown merchants and 14 farmers and vendors once a week over the summer and into the fall.
Presented by the Downtown Development Commission and , and also sponsored by , this year's market runs for 10 weeks on Waverly, until Aug. 16, and then 10 weeks on Green Village Road in front of the , from Aug. 23 to Oct. 25.
The market is chaired by Michael Kopas and Carla Brady.
Kopas, executive director of Facilities and Special Projects at Drew, said the market is a venue for the entire Madison community to "share time downtown, shop for local produce and local goods from local vendors and farmers, and really socialize in a setting that's just fun to be in."
It promotes sustainability and Madison's downtown.
"That's what it's really all about, supporting local commerce, whether merchants or farmers," Kopas said.
Kopas said Drew counts itself as part of the Madison community, and, when he's at the market, he often sees coworkers who walk there from the university. Drew also is passionate about community sustainability, and has a sustainability program known throughout the region, which makes supporting the Madison Farmers Market a natural fit, he said.
"This is one of the events we feel strongly about supporting," he said. "Selling local produce and local goods is all about sustainability. And our campus comunity uses the market. They look forward to it every year."
Working with merchants
This year is the first year the market will be split between Waverly Place and Green Village Road, instead of just being held at one location. He said the market brings foot traffic downtown and most merchants are in favor of having the market on Waverly Place because of the boost it gives the downtown.
Kopas said the Downtown Development Commission has been who said the market impacts their businesses.
"Each year we adapt it a little bit more to try to benefit as many people downtown, especially on Waverly, as possible," he said.
This year, splitting the market between Waverly Place and Green Village Road will shorten the amount of time the market is on Waverly Place. And the merchants will be able to share a table at the farmers market to showcase their own goods.
Participating farms and vendors
- Alstede Farms
- Baker's Bounty
- Donna & Co.
- Fontanarosa's Market
- The Gourmet Exchange
- Gourmet Nuts and Dried Fruit
- Melick's Town Farm
- Old Fashioned Kettle Korn
- Paolo's Kitchen
- Pickle Licious
- Secret Garden Soap of Madison
- Vacchiano Farm
- Van Ryzin Designs