One way to tell that cooler weather is ahead for the Bradenton area is the announcement of the coming season’s Downtown Bradenton Farmers Market.
That announcement came Wednesday, when Realize Bradenton, which organizes the farmers market, announced the 2016-17 season will kick off on Oct. 1. It continues every Saturday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. through May 27.
The market takes place on Old Main Street between Manatee Avenue West and Third Avenue West.
Several new features will launch this season, including the addition of Kids’ Corner, where children can decorate a reusable shopping bag to bring with them each time they visit the market; and Rainbow Corner, which features food demonstrations and tastings using fresh foods,
Also, a recent grant allows market shoppers who use the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program EBT to double their spending power. The SNAP Bonus Bucks program is available for the purchase of fresh produce, seafood, poultry, beef and other foods such as bread, honey, cheese, olive oil, and herbs, up to $20.
On opening day, the market has some special events in store. Dozens of local artists and craftspeople will display and selling their creations along Fourth Avenue West, adjacent to the market.
Chef Dave Shiplett of Birdrock Taco Shack and Dana Johnson of Sugar Cubed Bakery will cook together and create a meal to sample. The chefs will shop the market around 9:30 a.m. and conduct a cooking demonstration at 10 a.m. on the corner of Old Main Street and Fourth Avenue West.
The Trevor Bystrom Duo will perform a variety of music on the south block, and Paige Merriman will perform on Fourth Avenue West.
Other ongoing activities for the new season include visits by Master Gardeners on the first Saturday of each month, Florida Department of Health activities on the second Saturday, Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine health screenings for blood pressure and diabetes on the third Saturday, and creative learning stations, presented by the Central Manatee Library, on the fourth Saturday.
Go to BradentonFarmersMarket.com for more information. Parking is free, and dogs on leashes are always welcome.