Grab the clan and spend the evening by the lake as the Ithaca Farmers Market kicks off its inaugural season of Thursday “night market” at Steamboat Landing tonight. It’s the first of eight Thursday night markets for the season.
“Come on down with your kids, have some dinner with a glass of something, and get your veggies,” says Leslie Muhlhahn, a longtime farmers market vendor and board member. “The Physics Bus is there tonight, too,” making it a perfect outing for kids this week, she adds. Since the Ithaca Farmers Market pavilion at Steamboat Landing is covered, tonight’s market can go on rain or shine.
New farmers market vendor Hopshire Farms and Brewery will be on hand offering beer for sale, and the market has wine and cider vendors, as well. Silo Food Truck is jurying their food as a trial run tonight, offering their fried chicken and local macaroni & cheese variations, along with other food and produce vendors.
Djug Django will be playing live music this evening, with other favorites like Richie Stearns and Immortal Jellyfish coming up later in the season. Kid-friendly activities coming up include live painting, Circus Culture, and kid chefs.
The Ithaca Farmers Market has expanded from the weekend over the last several years, offering a downtown market on Tuesday mornings at Dewitt Park, and an East Hill market on Wednesday afternoons across from East Hill Plaza and Agava, still going on this summer despite multiple road closures in the area. They’ve also tried Thursday afternoon markets both downtown at Dewitt Park and in Fall Creek at the old Neighborhood Pride Grocery location, with limited success.
“The weekends are too busy for some of our regular folks,” says Muhlhahn, who hopes Thursday evening will be easier for local families to pick up some local fruits, vegetables, meats, and breads in a more relaxed setting. “It’s a beautiful place to spend an evening, and we have some great things for sale,” she says. “It’s a nice way to shop.” The Thursday market will run 5-8pm for July and August.