I remember as a girl going to the farmer’s market at the Czech Village roundhouse with my mom. She
would wake me up in thew wee hours of the morning, and we’d get our warm layers on and head to the outside market where hard working small farmers and bakers and crafts people would gather and sell their wares. My mom would have her mesh market bag and stuff it full by the time we left. I don’t remember those nights of having fresh market vegetables but I remember the cherry kolaches and the feeling of the crisp fall air on my skin.
I’ve continued that tradition with my own son. There is a market every day of the week somewhere here in iowa. MWF is at Noelridge park in Cedar Rapids from 4-6. TRS is downtown near WaterTower place (TR 4-6, S 7:00-12) and Sundays in Hiawatha from 11-3. But two years ago, a special and wonderful Market began in downtown Cedar Rapids. It’s an event rather than a market. Thousands (and I mean thousands – 10,000 visitors this year in one day) attend this 5 hour event where you can find anything from hand dyed shirts and fiber to hand tended vegetables and fruits, to jellys and jams, baked goods, breakfast burritos, dog collars and treats, iron works, flowers, and more. This is defintily an event to attend if you are here in Cedar Rapids area between May and October. You can find specifics here.
The flooding in Cedar Rapids this year didn’t put a damper on the market and it was the perfect elixer for the devastated downtown businesses. As I said, ten thousand people attended the market this year boosting spirits and economy. The market moved from it’s original location around 2nd street and the surrounding blocks to around Green Square Park which is across from the Cedar Rapids Art Museum. There is a bandstand which features Iowa Grown artists singing their hearts out in the heat of the morning.
This event is several blocks long so plan to spend a few hours and bring a basket or even a wagon. There are some ATM machines around to stop and get cash, but you can write checks or use debit cards at most vendors stations. Kids and pets are welcome but please keep them (the pets!) on a leash. It is certainly worth the time to go to this wonderful place to get a taste of real Iowa. Hope to see you there next year!!
You can see more pictures at cool iowa places on flickr.