Eastern Iowa is Home to the Oldest Farmers Market in the State
There are a ton of farmers markets across the state of Iowa, but there's one that has been around a lot longer than all the others!
Now that the month of May has arrived, farmers market season has officially returned to Eastern Iowa. Many area markets will kick off this week/weekend, and that includes the oldest farmers market in the state of Iowa: The Dubuque Farmers' Market.
According to the official website, the Dubuque Farmers' Market has been around since the 1840s! It was originally located at Flat Iron Park, but moved to City Hall in 1858. The website says that the "first floor was designed as a market and divided into small stalls, which were intended for anyone to display and sell products to the public. Windows, eleven feet high, were fabricated so farmers could back up their wagons to the window sills and unload their produce directly into the building."
In December of 1879, the Dubuque Farmers' Market moved outside of City Hall onto the surrounding streets. It remained a popular event until the 70s, when attendance got so low that they decided to take a break. Once the organizers allowed other vendors to join the produce vendors, the event picked up again, and its been a staple of the community ever since! Around 2,000 to 3,000 guests attend the market on a weekly basis, with even more in attendance on special weekends, like Mother's Day.
The first Dubuque Farmers' Market of 2023 will take place this Saturday, May 6th from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. and will continue every Saturday through October. The website shows that over 90 vendors will be in attendance selling fruits and vegetables, meat, eggs, baked goods, cheese, honey, fresh flowers, art, jewelry, clothing, bath products, crafts, coffee, and more. There will also be live music and plenty of prepared food vendors on site. The event is rain or shine, so be sure to check the weather forecast before you head out! You can check out a full list on vendors and map for this week's Dubuque Farmers' Market HERE.
Speaking of farmers markets, you can check out a list of different markets here in Eastern Iowa HERE!