Gear Up for Another Great Fishers Farmers Market Season
Writer / Renee Larr
The Fishers Farmers Market is triumphantly returning each Saturday from 8 a.m. to noon, beginning in May and running through September. The market, operated by Fishers Parks and Recreation, is one of the only dog-friendly markets in the northern Indianapolis area. Each week shoppers find a wide variety of homegrown goods, baked items and locally produced wares by more than 70 local farmers and artisans.
“Each year we have mostly returning vendors, but we add new ones into the mix,” says Erica Foreman, experience coordinator. “We have a new vendor this year called Ice Cream and Donuts that we’re all excited about. We also have a new vendor selling dip mixes. We’ve added an organic farmer from the Lafayette area too.”
Each week the market kicks off with yoga or a group fitness class provided by local instructors at the Nickel Plate District Amphitheater. Local musicians provide free entertainment celebrating the cultures of the world. Foreman says this year, the market honed in on finding musicians representing the diverse residents of Fishers.
To keep the market fresh, special-events days are added throughout the summer. In support of the citywide initiative to raise mental health awareness, May 13 is Hope for Happiness Day. Participating vendors will educate market-goers about their mental health services. Foreman says 40% of produce is turned away from grocery stores because it’s not “pretty” enough. On June 17, local producers bring their best “ugly” or misshapen produce to celebrate Imperfect Produce Day. Additional specialty days include Health and Wellness Day on August 26 and Safety Day on September 9.
The Biz Kidz program has grown each year exponentially. This year 10 Biz Kidz are featured weekly, along with a special Biz Kidz Market on July 8. The market allows 40 to 50 young entrepreneurs to showcase their own handmade, hand-grown, handcrafted or hand-produced items.
Last year, Fishers Parks added a second market each Wednesday from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at Saxony (13578 East 131st Street), providing a similar experience to the Saturday market, but with the addition of local vendors selling artwork, woodwork, crafts and home decor.
The Wednesday Saxony market specialty days include Pup Parade on July 5, where dogs and their humans parade around the market in their best costumes. Selected winners will receive trophies for Best Dog and Owner Costume, Most Regal Costume, and Funniest Costume. Beat the heat on July 19 during Ice Cream Sandwich Day. August 9 is Fly a Kite Day, where shoppers are encouraged to participate in the nostalgic activity of flying a kite.
“I think we’ve done a great job over the years of learning what our community wants and needs from the market,” says Marissa Deckert, Fishers Parks director. “We do our due diligence, ensuring all our vendors are high-quality. In addition, we offer so much more in terms of free things to engage residents. Our farmhands program engages over 300 kids each weekend. We provide music celebrating different cultures. We even engage furry family members, allowing dogs to participate in the market.”
For additional information, visit playfishers.com.