Fishers Farmers Market Returns
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
The Fishers Farmers Market is back and better than ever. The market is presented by Fishers Parks and hosts local producers, makers and growers every Saturday from May 1 to September 25. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater in downtown Fishers.
“We love that our market is outdoors,” says Sarah Sandquist, director of parks and recreation. “Even if you are vaccinated and outside, we still encourage guests to wear masks and to maintain social distance. We have so much space and we’re excited we’re able to offer this to the community. We feel we can offer it safely for people to interact and shop local.”
The market hosts around 65 vendors each week, which is 15 more than in previous years. Products include local plants, beverages, baked goods, ready-to-eat concessions and dog treats.
“One of the wins we had last year coming out of COVID was that we fully expanded the footprint around the entire Nickel Plate Amphitheater space,” Sandquist says. “We realized that that layout works well for us and has allowed us to seek more vendors.”
Fishers Parks leaders know that local food is more important now than ever.
“Think about when you purchase a tomato from our farmers market,” Sandquist says. “You know the farmer’s name who grew the tomato and the farm it came from, and you know all the details about their growing practices. That tomato is going to be ripe when you buy it, and it’s going to have ripened in the sun, whereas with a tomato from the grocery store, it might have traveled 1,500 miles to get to you.”
Additionally, the market leaders focus on going green.
“This is an initiative we started a couple of years ago and then paused last year,” Sandquist says. “We do feel strongly that we’d like to be a plastic-free market, so we encourage people to bring their own reusable bags.”
Specialty days feature extra vendors that are specific to a theme.
“Themed days are an enhancement to our regular market,” Sandquist says. “We have our green fair day featuring businesses that promote sustainability, conservation, environmental protection and health. We have our Fishers Freeboards Day and that typically takes place during national senior citizen week.”
Each Saturday, yoga is provided at 8 a.m. on the stage.
“The yoga class is free for residents,” Sandquist says. “It’s a partnership with local yoga studios. Those interested can check our web page for the studio schedule.”
Kids aren’t left out of the fun or the selling.
“This year we’re expanding our Biz Kids Day,” Sandquist says. “We invite youth vendors to participate in the market. We usually have about 40 to 45 vendors. These kids are so creative. Their booths are professional-looking, and there is incredible diversity in their products. We’ve had such a great response from that, so we’re still going to do our big day in July, but each week we’re offering three to five additional kid vendors.”
Every week there is a different activity for kids to take advantage of at the market.
“Our Farm Hands kids program allows kids to participate in an activity throughout the market, collect stamps at each spot, and then turn the card back in for market bucks,” Sandquist says. “They’re little wooden nickels that work like real money. It’s a great way to encourage kids to try new foods, and also purchase things at the market to take home with them as well.”
The market accepts SNAP benefits to provide an equitable experience for all.
“A majority of our vendors can accept SNAP benefits,” Sandquist says. “We want to make sure we’re inclusive to all, and this is one way we’re able to do so.”
Sandquist notes the Fishers Farmers Market is not able to work without the help of local volunteers.
“We have two different opportunities to volunteer,” Sandquist says. “One is to be a singular volunteer, and that would be to come in the morning early and help with setup and teardown, or to be an ambassador at our park tent, or helping to take our attendance counts. Additionally, we have our Market Muscle opportunity, which is such a great way for businesses to help volunteer and have a booth. We’re seeking volunteers for the whole summer.”
Local musicians provide live music each week.
“We have such a beautiful space there with the renovated stage at the amphitheater,” Sandquist says. “We have local talent booked each week. It’s always a surprise and a delight to see who is playing each week.”
The Fishers Farmers Market is located at 6 Municipal Drive. For more information about the market, visit playfishers.com/FARMERSMARKET.