ITHACA, N.Y.—The Ithaca Farmers Market organization is mulling the return of its mid-week downtown farmers market and wants to hear from the community before making any concrete decisions.
Dwindling interest had left the midweek downtown market that used to be held in DeWitt Park in a precarious position, only exacerbated when the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in spring 2020 and the market was paused. Three years later it hasn’t returned, but the market is putting out feelers to the community to see if the supply and demand would be there to warrant an additional market more centrally located, in addition to the normal weekend hours at the traditional Ithaca Farmers Market (IFM) and the Wednesday markets on East Hill.
“The question before the market is whether there are enough vendors interested in selling downtown, and if there is sufficient customer demand for a downtown market,” wrote Monika Roth, president of the Friends of Ithaca Farmers Market. “With new apartment buildings located in the center of the City, it seems that it would be convenient to have a market with fresh local products, prepared foods, and other goods accessible to downtown again.”
IFM and the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DIA) distributed a survey to test whether or not vendors and customers would be interested in such an addition. Answers are being accepted until March 20, 2023, and a final decision on the additional market will be made in May.
Roth continued that IFM representatives have begun exploring options with city and DIA officials. Those have included different days and locations; Tuesdays and Thursdays are most likely, Roth said, since neither would interfere with the East Hill market. Possible locations include returning to Dewitt Park or utilizing the 100 block of West State Street (around the State Theatre area) and closing at least part of the block to vehicular traffic during that time.
Several times are under consideration as well, Roth said, including mid-day, late afternoon or evening. More vendor information can be found here.