Hey Bradenton... It's that time of year again!

The Downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market returns this Saturday, Oct. 5, from 9 am to 2 pm on Old Main Street.

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The Bradenton Farmers’ Market is back and better than ever! The market will take place every Saturday in October through May on Old Main Street between Manatee Avenue and 4th Avenue West in downtown Bradenton. Not only is this season loaded with fun events and activities, it also kicks off an exciting new partnership with the Suncoast Food Alliance. Are you as excited as we are?

In addition to a new partnership with the Suncoast Food Alliance, the market will offer many fun and engaging programs, such as Chef at the Market, Mainly Art and a variety of family activities. Here’s what is going on in October:

Chef at the Market

Mouthwatering aromas draw crowds to the Chef at the Market booth, where the area’s best chefs conduct cooking demonstrations and offer expert advice on turning the market’s seasonal produce into delectable dishes.

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On Oct. 5, OPENING DAY, at 11 am David Shiplett, chef-owner of SOMA Creek Side, will be the first Chef at the Market.

soma.jpegChef David Shiplett, whose popular restaurant SOMA Creek Side recently relocated to downtown Bradenton, purchases a large percentage of his produce, dairy goods and fish from the Bradenton Farmers’ Market. “It’s a great source for fresh, locally produced foods and artisanal goods,” says Shiplett. “When you buy from local growers, you know where your food comes from and you can ask how it’s grown. It’s about making that human connection and procuring the best possible ingredients for my customers.”

Family Activities and “The Art of Mainly Art”

There is something for everyone at the Farmers’ Market this season. The Family Activities booth features “hands-on” arts, crafts and education for families and kids ranging from scavenger hunts to the creation of personalized works of art. On Mainly Art days, a local artist will demonstrate his or her craft as part of “The Art of Mainly Art” program.

Oct. 5 from 10 am to 1 pm the Family Activities booth will be Comic Book Central.

Art and activities with a comic book theme will be hosted by the Manatee County Central Library as part of their Mana-Con Comics Convention, which simultaneously takes place from 11 am to 4 pm at the library.

Oct. 12 from 10 am to 1 pm the LECOM Health Fair will be at the Family Activities Booth.

The LECOM Bradenton Student Government Association will provide FREE health screenings for anyone interested. LECOM pharmacy students will conduct screenings on blood pressure, cholesterol and diabetes. Come take advantage of this FREE service!

Oct. 19 from 9 am to 2 pm The Art of Boat Building at Mainly Art.

John Beale, the Education and Volunteer Coordinator at the Florida Maritime Museum will demonstrate small boat building for folks with very little experience working with basic tools.

Oct. 26 from 10 am to 1 pm Creepy Crawlers will be at the Family Activities booth.

Investigate tiny creepy crawlers using real science tools with the South Florida Museum. Test your bravery with the Slimy Things Mystery Bucket and create your own spider web.

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The market, supported by the Downtown Development Authority, will take place from 9 am to 2 pm every Saturday, October through May, on Old Main Street between Manatee and Fourth Avenues West in downtown Bradenton. Parking is free and dogs on leashes are welcome! For more information visit the Bradenton Farmers’ Market web page.

Holly Lundgren is an Events and Creative Services Manager for Realize Bradenton.