The original Farmers' Market in downtown Wilmington was an eight block stretch on King Street, one of our major thoroughfares. This market consisted of local farmers selling produce and other goods from the back of their vehicles and dated back to the early 1900s. With the advent of suburbanization and the modern day supermarket, this practice virtually disappeared in Wilmington.
Trying to revitalize this disappearing but critical part of urban life, the City of Wilmington officially sanctioned a Farmers' Market about 25 years ago, relocating it to a small surface parking lot on Orange Street. Over the years the number of vendors fluctuated, but steadily declined until only two vendors remained. At this point, in 2002, Wilmington Mayor James Baker asked Downtown Visions, the management company of Wilmington's business improvement district to assume management of the Farmers' Market. At this point there were only about 9 vendors. Downtown Visions was able to recruit new farmers and other vendors but soon determined that the location lacked the critical pedestrian traffic and accessibility to support the market and to service the community at large.
Continuing to partner with the City, the Market was moved to a beautiful, but underutilized city-owned public space, Rodney Square. This square is centrally located, flanked by a myriad of downtown corporations and within easy walking distance to others as well as to Market Street, downtown's main shopping street. In addition Rodney Square is the bus transportation hub for the entire county. The move to Rodney Square made the market available not only to corporate pedestrian traffic, but also to residents who use the bus system as their primary source of transportation. Nearby downtown residents were now able to walk to and participate in the market and it transformed into a true public market where, every Wednesday, from May to October, people can find an average of forty vendors selling fresh produce, handmade crafts, baked goods, lunch foods and more. Customers can have lunch at outdoor tables, enjoy free entertainment and obtain a variety of information at the information tent.
May 3 - October 25, 2023
Wednesdays, 10AM - 2PM
Location: Rodney Square, Between 10th and 11th Streets and Market and King Streets.