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Cedar Rapids downtown farmers markets return this weekend

Nearly 200 vendors and family-friendly fun

Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette

Luke Wohlers of Coralville sips on a lemonade while sitting on the “Rollic” sculpture in Greene Square during the first downtown farmers market of the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. Vendors offered everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade clothing and jewelry. This summer's markets begin Saturday (5/26) from 7:30 a.m. to noon, continuing twice monthly through Sept. 1.
Rebecca F. Miller/The Gazette Luke Wohlers of Coralville sips on a lemonade while sitting on the “Rollic” sculpture in Greene Square during the first downtown farmers market of the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. Vendors offered everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to handmade clothing and jewelry. This summer's markets begin Saturday (5/26) from 7:30 a.m. to noon, continuing twice monthly through Sept. 1.

Produce and products and music galore. That’s what’s in store for the thousands of shoppers who will flock to downtown Cedar Rapids beginning Saturday (5/26) for the summertime farmers markets.

Hours are 7:30 a.m. to noon this week, and continuing June 2 and 16, July 7 and 21, Aug. 4 and 18, and concluding Sept. 1.

Nearly 200 local vendors will be happy to send patrons home with fresh produce, baked goods, arts and crafts, meats and dairy products. This week, look for these typical May finds: asparagus, basil, rhubarb, kohlrabi, lettuce mix and spinach. (See the seasonal chart at Cedarrapids.org/events/farmers-market/market-tips)

This year’s footprint encompasses Second and Third avenues from Second to Fifth streets downtown, with booths on two sides of Greene Square, as well. The main stage is in the southwest corner of Greene Square, by Fourth Avenue and the railroad tracks.

The pint-size crowd also will find plenty of fun, with balloon animals, face painting and a coloring mural on the premises.

The information booth at the corner of Second Avenue and Third Street SE will dispense more than just the facts. Shoppers can snap up a farmers market mug there, and borrow a cart to tote their treasures. Across the street is a SNAP booth, where patrons can run their SNAP EBT cards for tokens to use with various vendors.

Pets are allowed on the grounds, but organizers warn that the streets can be crowded (typically with 14,000 patrons), so Fido might be happier at home. If you can’t refuse those puppy dog eyes, here’s the code of canine conduct to follow: Cedarrapids.org/events/farmers-market/market-tips.

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  • Pets must be on a leash no longer than 3 feet and kept by their owner’s side.
  • Pets must be under control and well behaved.
  • Pets must be kept away from produce, plants and prepared food products.
  • Pets must be sociable or they may be asked to leave.
  • Pet owners need to understand that not everyone is an animal lover.
  • Pet owners must clean up after their pet.
  • Pet owners will be held liable for damages caused by animals.

And speaking of entertainment, in addition to local musicians, dancers and actors, circle Aug. 25 on your calendars now, as “American Idol” Maddie Poppe of Clarksville will light up the Market After Dark nighttime farmers market with a 6:30 p.m. performance. 

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