It’s officially summer, and that means the Ithaca Farmers Market is busy! This week marks the beginning of peak season, with five markets running per week until the end of August. Thursday night market starts this Thursday, June 27, and is held at the market pavilion from 5 – 8 p.m. Catch them there June 27 – August 29, except for July 4.
The night market has a slower vibe than the chaotic weekend markets, and is perfect for families with kids or anyone looking to get dinner without waiting in a long line. There is a variety of food vendors from wood-fired pizza to pitas, Thai food and more. And for dessert there are usually pastries and ice cream! The Thursday market lends itself to conversation and the ability to connect with vendors, especially those that are busy on Saturdays and Sundays. Craft vendors with hats, clothing, jewelry, home decor, and more will be there alongside farm vendors.
Hopshire Brewery will be onsite with their famous farm-brewed beers, as well as a slew of local cideries. The Ithaca Visitors Bureau will be onsite with their NEW cider cutout, perfect for taking goofy photos with.
In partnership with Ithaca’s Youth Entrepreneurship Market, the last Thursday of every month will showcase kid vendors in the famous “Youth Market.” Open to all kids – the businesses range from jelly, bath bombs, jewelry and more! All children hoping to apply can find more info on the IFM website. The Youth market is a culmination for YEM’s yearlong programming where they work with kids to develop business plans and then turn them into reality.
Michael Mazza of YEM says he loves that the kids get to vend at one of the country’s most legendary markets. “YEM was designed to offer youth in our community a hands-on learning experience about entrepreneurship,” Michael said. “And lucky for our students it’s grown well beyond that mission, as it’s given youth an opportunity to meet some of our community’s superstar entrepreneurs and learn from their inspiring stories.”
The Thursday market also has entertainment for kids, including a circus performance this week. Meet the cast of RagTag; clowns, jugglers, and acrobats of the touring group Cirque Us, performing this weekend at Circus Culture in Ithaca. They will be giving a sneak peak too the show tonight at 6 p.m. with an interactive activity for kids afterwards.
For those looking for some relaxation away from dry land, Ithaca Boat Tours will be taking narrated tours down Cayuga Lake during market hours. Food and beverage from the market is encouraged on the boat. Tonight they will be leaving at 6 and 7 p.m. for daylight tours, and 8 p.m. for a sunset cruise.
Last but not least, with help from sponsor Alternatives Credit Union, IFM is able to book some spectacular bands for the Thursday season. Acts like the Burns Sisters, Kevin Kinsella and Richie Sterns will put on free concerts for market patrons. Diners can sit by Cayuga Lake with dinner and listen to the best sounds of Ithaca. This week DJ Evo will perform original tunes and fan favorites, with a focus on Reggae tunes as a nod to this weekend’s upcoming Reggae Fest. Check the IFM website for a complete listing of Thursday night music.
Walk, bike, boat, kayak or drive to the pavilion tonight!
The Ithaca Farmers Market is a vendor-run cooperative composed of more than 160 different business – who grow and make everything within 30 miles of Ithaca.
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Featured image: First day of the season at the Ithaca Farmers Market. (Jacob Mroczek/Ithaca Voice)