Westchester Farmers’ Market makes changes as it marks 25th anniversary

Later this month, the Westchester Farmers’ Market will celebrate its 25th anniversary with its biggest market day yet and a few changes to its schedule.

While currently the Wednesday market is held from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., organizers have decided to change the hours to 2 to 7 p.m. to better accommodate the working families of the community.

Market Operator Cynthia Rogers says that the later hours will offer greater access to everyone and will allow for some exciting partnerships.

“We think this will be a great opportunity to serve more people in our community,” says Rogers. “Over the last twenty-five years, the market has had a great energy, and we think shifting to an afternoon/night market will bring us new visitors and will continue to help us thrive.”

Another change for the market is its location. Currently situated just off of Lincoln Blvd. across from Otis College in Westchester Park, the market is moving approximately 200 yards north. Starting July 25, the market will be held in the parking lot used by the Westchester Library,  Councilmember Mike Bonin’s office and the Westchester Senior Center. The new entrance for shoppers will be on Manchester Ave. and Loyola Blvd.

Rogers hopes the move will allow for greater collaborations with community groups and talks are already underway with the Emerson Ave. Community Garden Club and Otis’ Garden Club to create a community garden next to the new farmers’ market site. The goal would be to grow fruits and vegetables to be donated to the senior center.

“The Westchester Farmers’ Market has always been a community hub with locals supporting locals and we want to continue expanding our programming to grow with the Westchester community,” said Rogers. “We’re excited about the opportunities our new location and time will give us.”

July will also mark the second anniversary of the Sunday Farmers’ Market located in the Westchester Triangle. The market has been growing steadily over the last two years, expanding its range of vendors and placing an emphasis on being a weekend destination for families to come together for brunch, shopping and to enjoy activities for the kids.

“We are all about creating greater access to healthy local food options, while making the market a fun place to be,” says Don Duckworth, Executive Director of the Westchester Town Center BID, which sponsors the Sunday market. “We’ve really been focusing on our family programming—from face painting, petting zoos and storytelling––so that everyone can come together to enjoy a Sunday morning out in the community.”

In honor of both markets’ anniversaries, special events will be held on Wednesday, July 25 from 2 to 7 p.m. and Sunday, July 29 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Each market will have robust programming to create a town fair feeling, with entertainment, lively bands, a roving magician, a flight simulator and a raffle grand prize featuring a Caribbean cruise. Free kids’ activities, including a petting zoo, face painting, balloon animals and a train ride, round out the events.

The markets are held every Wednesday in Westchester Park (7000 Manchester Blvd.) and every Sunday in The Triangle (6200 W. 87th St.). The markets are sponsored by Westchester Vitalization, with the Westchester Town Center BID as a community partner for the Triangle location.

For more info, please visit westchesterfarmersmkt.com.

Posted June 18.