As the Farmer’s Market enters its 2015-16 season under the direction of Realize Bradenton, connection to the community is alive and thriving. This year, such popular initiatives as “Chef at the Market," live music, and family-friendly activities will continue, along with new events and programs. For the first time, the market will be accepting Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT cards.
It's More Than A Market!
Realize Bradenton is pleased to announce that the 2015-2016 season of the downtown Bradenton Farmers’ Market starts on Saturday, October 3, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., on Old Main Street, between Manatee Avenue West and 3rd Avenue West in downtown Bradenton. Parking is free and dogs on leashes are welcome. For more information about the Bradenton Farmers’ Market, visit www.BradentonFarmersMarket.com.
Johnette Isham, executive director of Realize Bradenton, the non-profit organization that organizes and promotes the market, points out that several new initiatives will be launched this season. For the first time, the market will accept Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) EBT cards for the purchase of fresh produce and staple foods such as bread, honey, cheese, olive oil and herbs. "This is right on track with the market's mission to enhance our community’s quality of life," says Isham. "We invite our neighbors to shop with us for wholesome, healthy foods."
Isham adds that, on opening day, the “Making Strides Against Breast Cancer” team will be painting Bradenton's Old Main Street with pink ribbons for Breast Cancer Awareness month at the Farmers’ Market. Isham says that artist Brandon Scott, often seen creating his art at the market, will paint a portrait of a person who represents everyone who has or is currently fighting breast cancer and donate it to the Making Strides event. "We hope market attendees will visit the Making Stride booth to learn more about the Making Strides walk this year on October 24," says Isham.
Another new program added this year is yoga at the market with Bradenton native Jessi Smith. This all-ages and all-levels practice will be at 9 a.m. at the south end of the market next to the County Building. Bring a yoga mat and some water; a $10 donation is suggested.
On opening day, Chef Dana Johnson of Sugar Cubed Bakery in the Village of the Arts, kicks off the new season of the “Chef at the Market” program. Follow Chef Dana as he creates fun-for-kids fruit arrangements. Chef Dana will begin his cooking demonstration at 10 a.m. at the corner of 4th Avenue West and Old Main Street. Throughout the season different local chefs will prepare dishes featuring fresh produce and locally-sourced foods that will delight the taste buds and nourish the body.
The always popular acoustic duo Jen & Ray kick off another season of live music. A wide variety of musicians will appear each week throughout the season.
Every week, the Market Activities Tent will feature informative and interactive activities for the whole family. Every fourth Saturday of the month The Central Library of the Manatee County library system continue to present the Creative Learning Station as a place for ideas, storytelling, and interactive learning for children and their families. This season, the library will continue to focus on nutrition in its literacy programs. The market also continues its partnership with Manatee County's Community Health Division of the Florida Department of Health with family-friendly presentations that focus on Florida’s healthiest weight initiative, on second Saturdays of each month. The Community Health Division will also host a health fair at the market on April 9, 2016.
Other community booths at the market include:
- 2nd Saturdays: Manatee County Animal Services pet adoptions hosted by Picture Them Adopted.
- 3rd Saturdays: Humane Society of Manatee County hosted by Fetch! Pet Care.
- 3rd Saturdays: Healthy Cooking with Market Foods with Chef Gaetano Cannata of Ortygia Restaurant.
Other Events Planned for this Season:
- Starting October 17: The Mainly Art arts and crafts market on 4th Avenue West continues on the third Saturday of each month.
- October 10: Thinking about growing your own veggies? Ross Peterson, the Florida-friendly landscape guru from Manatee County Extension Service will demonstrate how to build a rain barrel while artist Jean Farmer of Fun Girl Art in the Village of the Arts paints on a rain barrel.
- October 24: The “Friendly Food Fight” is a kickoff event for Eat Local Week (October 24-30) and a celebration of National Food Day. In recognition of National Food Day’s green meal initiative, the theme is “Lean & Green." Participating chefs will be asked to create either a dish that stars vegetables, with meat, poultry or fish as a side dish, or a vegetarian dish.
- October 31: Howl’ween Pet Parade: The theme is keeping your pets healthy. Sign-up is 10 a.m.; pet parade is 10:30 a.m.; judging is 11 a.m.
- November 14: Weightlifting demonstration with Full Circle Performance Weightlifting Club with Coach Tyler Peacock. Help create a pathway for youth to pursue the Olympic dream through the sport of weightlifting.
- December 12: A school chorus showcase, featuring choral groups from Manatee County schools.
- The 2015-2016 sponsors of the Bradenton Farmers’ Market are the Bradenton Herald, Bright House Networks, Downtown Development Authority, Florida Blue, Manatee Community Federal Credit Union, and Mosaic.
- For more information about the Bradenton Farmers’ Market, visit www.BradentonFarmersMarket.com. Prospective vendors can apply by completing an online application form.
See PDF version of this release.