Riverside Casino leaders are betting everyone wins at a new endeavor the casino has launched. Farmers market vendors will be hawking produce, crafts and baked goods in the casino’s parking lot once a month through September.
Veggies and slots might not be synonymous, but public relations director Sharon Haselhoff sees the market as an added draw for people coming to dine, stay or gamble at Riverside Casino & Golf Resort. “It’s just one more thing that we could add to bring people here, for local residents and our guests staying here,” she said.
Vendors — about 40 are slated to be there Sunday, June 28, 2009, — also have another opportunity to sell local products. While most markets charge stall fees, vendors only have to register to sell at the casino. Haselhoff said Sunday was chosen so the market would not compete with those in Iowa City or other nearby communities other days of the week. Riverside does not have a farmers market, she noted.
In addition to this Sunday, markets are scheduled July 26, Aug. 30 and Sept. 27, all from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors can contact Jessica Athen at (319) 648-1234, extension 1975, to register for the Riverside Casino farmers market.
For more on this story, see the Saturday, June 27, 2009, edition of The Gazette.
Iowa City officials are handling a potential move of its farmers markets from a covered parking ramp – on an occasional basis to a busier site a few blocks away – by talking to market vendors. Cedar Rapids has a different way of changing its farmers market sites and doesn’t have to jump through the same hoops as Iowa City. A couple years ago, some vendors and customers were upset over the move from the covered Riverside Roundhouse in Cedar Rapids to an open air market at the city parking lot at Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE. Market officials say the new site is no longer an issue for customers or vendors. Nevertheless, Teresa White, the city’s farmers market supervisor, decided to move the Thursday markets from Eighth Avenue to Greene Square Park. “I just want to be different,” she said. Teresa also hopes the market will be a boost for workers in downtown Cedar Rapids, which is still recovering from last June’s flood.
Greene Square is quite a convenience for those of us who work in The Gazette, as the park is just outside our office. What do you think? Will that move be a good one? And what should become of the roundhouse? Is it just a relic that should be demolished with other flood-damaged buildings?
I will be updating the farmers market schedule for as many in Eastern Iowa as I can find and will post it here later this spring. Most markets don’t start until May, although the Hiawatha one usually gets a head start in April.
If you are a market master, have information on a farmers market or know of a new one, you can send the info to me at: email@example.com or leave a message below. Please include a contact name and phone number.
Here is the Cedar Rapids farmers market schedule for this season:
Eighth Avenue and Second Street SE parking lot will be May 2 through Oct. 24; Tuesdays from 4-6 p.m. and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon, except when the Downtown Farmers Markets are held. Thursday markets will be 4-6 p.m. in Greene Square Park, from June 11 through Aug. 27.
Noelridge Park farmers markets, from May 1 through Oct. 23, are 4-6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
The larger Downtown Farmers Markets – with a record 160 vendors this year – are 7:30 a.m. to noon on June 6 and 20; July 18; Aug. 1 and 15; Sept. 5 and Oct. 3.
The Cedar Rapids Downtown District announced today that the Downtown Farmers’ Markets will be back downtown beginning Saturday, August 2, from 7:30AM-noon. Location of the market will include Greene Square Park and surrounding areas. The Downtown District received confirmation from Police, Fire, Health Inspectors, and City officials that this location has been declared a safe and appropriate space following flood cleanup. This is where the remaining downtown markets will take place this year. Parking ramps are clean, available, and will be free to market patrons.
Sponsors for the August 2nd market will include Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust, the Eastern Iowa Airport, and the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation. Markets will include main stage entertainment, interactive family activities, and cooking demonstrations, in addition to the 148 local Iowa vendors. The return of this market is one more piece to the Rebuild Downtown campaign – declaring the commitment so many businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout the community have expressed in rebuilding a downtown better than ever following the historic June flooding.
The Downtown District is contracting all market vendors, sponsors and entertainment to confirm the news. If you are a part of the downtown farmers markets and have any questions, contact Events Director Jill Wilkins at 398-0449. For additional market information visit www.rebuilddowntowncr.org or see the Farmers Market tab on this blog.