Much about Downtown Jamestown Farmers Market will be different when it opens Thursday - a new day, new hours of operation and a new location.
Continued growth means the market is moving from Foundry Alley near the Dr. Lillian Vitanza Ney Renaissance Center to Cherry Street between Second and Third streets. Hours are noon-6 p.m. Thursdays. A new location means more space for vendors while the small park at the corner of Cherry and Second streets will be a nice space for dining and entertainment. Moving the market to Thursdays is expected to open the market to a wider audience, including after-hours shoppers on their way home from work.
Having the market downtown is an important statement about the need to eat healthier. Market officials take an extra step by bringing in speakers to educate people about the best ways to prepare the food they're buying at the farmers market. Food preparation and preservation demonstrations by experts from Cornell Cooperative Extension will occur every week at 1 and 4 p.m.
Market officials are also trying to get children eating healthier. The first step is getting young children to inhabit space near a vegetable, which market organizers are working on by adding children's activities. A story time for small children will take place from 3-4 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursdays of each month, preceded and followed by face painting.
The market has proven to be a wonderful addition to downtown, starting from humble beginnings with a few vendors located on Third Street and growing to the point now that it encompasses a street and pocket park. It attracts people into the downtown core and brings them into contact with businesses they might not otherwise visit. The delicious fresh food is a nice bonus, too.