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Downtown Farmers Market celebrates 50th anniversary with a successful opening day

Patrons of the market walk between tents with flowers and produce, June 14, 2022.
Emma Murphy
Patrons of the market walk between tents with flowers and produce, June 14, 2022.

The opening day of the seasonal Downtown Farmer’s Market in Syracuse saw some vendors closing up early because they sold out of their fresh produce.

Two farms sold out completely, and there were slim pickings at seven other stands by the time the market wrapped up in the afternoon.

The annual market drew a larger than expected crowd to mark the first day of its 50th season.

The owner of Goodies Mediterranean Grill and Cuisine, Chucri Ayoub, said while he wasn’t able to sell out the limited supply of Greek food he brought, he looks forward each year to attending the market. That’s where he picks up hard-to-find items like cactus pears and a certain type of squash needed for a Lebanese dish.

“Even while we’re here we shop around. We get some special stuff from some venders, they have it here, and it’s not even available anywhere else,” Ayoub said.

The larger turnout included longtime Syracuse resident Robert Jenkins. He said the market brings a dose of energy to the area that gives him and his wife something to get excited about.

“During just your regular days there’s just parking down here, people going to work. So something like this is a change, it looks nice, and I have just looked forward to coming here with her every year,” Jenkins said.

The market creates an opportunity for local organizations and nonprofits to better connect with people they want to serve. This year Syracuse Northeast Community Center will host a table for the first time. The organization’s director of workforce development Donna Moore said she was able to talk about the center’s job placement efforts with the many people at the market.

“Being able to be downtown where there’s something happening, we thought would be a great benefit to the program, just getting the word out about what the program is, what we offer, and how we can help people," said Moore.

To celebrate its 50th year, the Farmers Market is incorporating what it calls Community Days each week. If patrons identify with the community being celebrated that week they can get some free swag and enter a drawing.

The market is open every Tuesday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. through Oct. 11.