First Downtown Farmers Market of 2016 Kicks Off Saturday

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Saturday, Court Avenue turns into an outdoor marketplace when the first Downtown Farmers Market of the year opens up.

“Opening day of the farmers market always brings so much excitement. It`s kind of an invite to say `Hey, spring is here and summer is on the way’ and people just get so excited. Our producers and growers from around the state have been working so hard for this day. It`s going to be beautiful,” said Market Director Kelly Foss.

Almost 300 vendors will be lining the street selling farm to stand, handmade, and small batch goods. In fact there are a few new vendors this year including a handmade pasta stand and a handmade raw chocolate stand.

“Our entrepreneurs really have grown their business; many of them have grown their business from participating at the Farmers Market. It`s a really great way for them to test the product they`re creating and really meet face to face with the people who are going to be eating and enjoying the food that they`re creating,” said Foss.

Foss says that this is a great way for an urban community to get a taste of what some of Iowa's more rural communities have to offer.

“To really be able to connect the urban and rural communities and bring the diversity into one area which is the Court District every single Saturday morning…that`s really special for Des Moines and it`s a really great way to highlight our community,” said Foss.

There is a lot of construction around Court Avenue and the surrounding downtown area, however those organizing the event are confident that parking won’t be too much of an issue.

“Actually parking is quite a breeze. We have three parking ramps that are pretty much right in walking distance of the Farmers Market. They have several different levels so you can park in the parking ramp, take the elevator down to street level and it`s like rockstar parking,” said Foss.

There are parking ramps on 3rd and Court, 5th and Walnut, 4th and Grand, and for a fee you can park at the Science Center ramp on 4th St.

If you are worried about parking and live within biking range there will be a bike valet to take care of your two-wheeled ride.

The market opens up bright and early at 7:00 a.m. and runs until noon.