Jack Fennimore

The Joys of Westown Farmers’ Market

It can be a relaxing and delicious experience, and it's offered every Wednesday through October.

By - Jun 4th, 2015 04:36 pm
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Westown Farmers’ Market. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

Westown Farmers’ Market. Photo by Jack Fennimore.

I sat in the grass and cowed down on my smoked Gouda, grilled onion, and jalapeño burger from Oscar’s on a Roll. I was enveloped in a warm shower of golden sunlight. The cold concrete edifices that loomed over me from all sides did nothing to ruin this perfectly pastoral moment.

The Westown Farmers’ Market, “Milwaukee’s oldest and largest open-air market,” according to the Westown Association, retuned today. The market boasts a variety of food, art, jewelry and craft vendors, all of which is accompanied by live music. The market is held in Zeider Union Square and is open every Wednesday from 10am to 3pm from June 3 to October 28.

The market is, has been, and continues to be a vital component of keeping Westown vibrant. The weekly event allows Milwaukeeans to come together and enjoy a variety of local food, products, and live music in the beautiful park, bringing life to the often rather desolate and parking structure-filled area of Westown.

And now the market is even more instrumental in the restorative process of the area thanks to a collaboration fostered by the Wisconsin Avenue Marketing Development Corporation, which is working to bring more life to W. Wisconsin Avenue. Westown has traditionally coordinated the event with River Rhythms, the live music series at Pere Marquette Park, but will also now be in sync with the NEWaukee Night Market and the Creative Alliance Milwaukee’s 4MKE initiative, both centered on the parking lot at N. 4th St. and W. Wisconsin Ave. (which we covered here).

The vendors I visited came from all corners of Milwaukee and sat along the promenades of the park. Franciscan Peacemakers Street Ministry sells soaps and other products made by the women of Clare Community, a rent-free housing community for women who want to leave prostitution and alcohol/drug abuse (you can see the online store here). Richard Schallack of Creative Visions has been selling his stained glass works at the market for the past nine years. The Naked Baker sells cookies warmed by the sun. Pam’s Essentials sells soy candles and natural body care products for after-work relaxation, Top Note Tonic sells bitter sodas for all of your summer drink needs, Green Earth Terrarium sells miniature ecosystems for your desk, and Refuge Smoothie Café sells health shakes that don’t taste like grass. You know, tasty.

A full list of vendors and musicians as well as event and performance times can be found on Westown Association’s website. You can also contact Westown Association at (414) 276-6696 or events@westown.org.

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0 thoughts on “The Joys of Westown Farmers’ Market”

  1. Anonymous says:

    This is really nice, but “farmers’ market” seems like a misnomer. I expect to see fruits and vegetables, at least in equal proportion to the lotions and knick-knacks. This is a lovely craft fair with food vendors, but it’s not a farmers’ market.

  2. Anonymous says:

    @Dave It’s pretty early in the season so most Farmers’ markets don’t have large selections yet, but as the summer goes on more and more options will become available.

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