Dubuquers flock to farmers market 1 last time

photo contributed: A vendor at the Dubuque Farmers Market showcases his produce. The market will return outdoors in the spring.

This past Saturday, Oct. 29, marked the final outdoor iteration of the Dubuque Farmers Market. The oldest of such ongoing markets in Iowa, this year marks the 171st anniversary of the initiation of the community-wide activity.

A variety of people attend the farmers market throughout the year, such as families, older couples, and college students during the fall and spring. In addition to being the first and oldest, the market is also the only one in the state that lasts all season long, as it moves to its indoor location at 11th and Locust for the winter months.

With well over a hundred vendors participating, ranging from local businesses to independent farmers, the market has also integrated several new concepts over recent years. The most prominent of these has been the Double-Up Food Bucks program; with the purchase of $10-worth of tokens usable within the market, customers also receive an additional $10 worth of tokens for use at produce vendors. This program has allowed for $4,000 for fresh produce purchased by low-income community members on SNA.

In keeping with an on-and-off tradition over the years, the final outdoor market featured a number of Halloween-based activities for kids, who could “trick-or-treat” at many of the vendors who gave out candy and prizes. Other activities such as pumpkin painting, fun pictures, and a drawing for eight prize bags donated by Dubuque Main Street and other vendors were also available.

The Dubuque Farmers Market has been a hallowed tradition in the community for countless years, and in addition to an economic aspect it has also served to strengthen the abilities of independent businesses and provided a social environment to bring members of the community closer together. Its countless years of existence have been fondly remembered by its patrons and market-goers, and the outdoor market’s return in the spring of 2017 will be widely anticipated.

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