One of my favorite things about Knoxville, aside from brisk fall mornings, is the Market Square Farmers Market. Back when I moved here in 1993 the idea of the Farmers Market was just a glimmer in someone’s eye.
Since the first Market House was built in 1816, the area has been central to Knoxville. Market Square is located smack in the middle of Downtown Knoxville on approximately one acre of land. ”The Square” has retail shops on the east and west side, with the TVA towers to the north and Krutch Park to the south. Over the many decades of its existence the real estate on “The Square” has seen farmer’s vending their wares, movie theaters, musicians, saloons, City Hall and a large variety of retail stores. However, it wasn’t until the early 2000′s that the Market began to see a revitalization including a remodel of The Square, an influx of retail, the sale of condominiums, and a strong Market Square Association comprised of local businesses. For a great read about Market Square’s long and varied history check out Jack Neely’s MARKET SQUARE, A History of the Most Democratic Place on Earth.
The Market Square Association has done a fantastic job in bringing the bi-weekly Farmers Market to The Square. You will find I feature it often on my Knox & You in 52 Event Calendar since it has so much to offer. I have watched it grow substantially over the last five years from fifteen vendors to well over forty. The market runs May through November and is open every Wednesday from 11a.m. to 2p.m. & Saturday from 9a.m. to 2p.m. The booths range from gourmet dog food, clothing, jewelry, meat and vegetable vendors, dairy farms, & fruit vendors.
Some of my favorite places are A Place of the Heart for fresh vegetables, Riverside Farms for meat, Old City Java for a sip of coffee (or beans to go), Cruze Dairy Farm for milk (maybe a little ice cream) and be sure to grab a bite from the Sweet & Savory gourmet food truck!
Aside from the regular farmer’s market, the Market Square Association has utilized the space for events like the International Biscuit Festival, First Night (New Years Eve), and First Friday. For the winter season there is a Holiday Market for three Saturdays in December. Gift shopping is available from noon-7pm along Market Street and Union Avenue, and the farmers and a small farmers’ market with winter vegetables, meat, honey and more from noon-3pm. You will also find events like Shakespeare on the Square, Jazz on the Square, Pridefest, and the East TN History Festival among many others year round. I certainly hope that you will take the time to explore the farmer’s market, as well as the local brick and mortar businesses that call Market Square home.
Don’t forget, you can keep up with all the best local events in Knoxville every week of the year if you SUBSCRIBE to my Knox & You in 52 Event Calendar. Interested in living Downtown? Read more and search for properties in Downtown Knoxville HERE.
Hope to see you around real soon…
Post by Shannon Foster-Boline