Local farmers have been bringing vegetables, fruits, eggs and other farm produce into the city of Eau Claire for more than 100 years. Sometimes, the farmers had a regular route and went door to door on a Saturday selling homemade butter and eggs. Later, farmers brought their produce to Haymarket Square in downtown Eau Claire where they sold livestock, poultry, fruits and vegetables to the townspeople.
During the 1940s and 1950s and extending into the 1960s one would often see farmers selling apples and other farm produce from the back of a pickup truck along Graham Avenue. Starting in 1980, an Eau Claire Farmers Market Association was formed and the market and the site selected was the London Square Mall parking lot. The market typically consisted of 10 to 20 vendors selling a variety of farm produce and flowers with the season extending from the middle of June until the end of October.
It should be mentioned that most communities in Wisconsin now have organized farmers markets, most of which have been formed since 1980. However, the tradition of farmers markets in North America spans a much greater period of time. For example, the city charters of St. Paul, Minnesota and Halifax, Nova Scotia, both provide market sites for farmers. The St. Paul Farmers Market is in its 146th year (1999) while the Halifax Farmers Market was founded in 1750 and has just completed its 250th year of operation.
After the 1993 season, the Eau Claire Farmers Market decided to move back to London Square mall. At about this time a number of truck farmers decided to remain in the downtown area and the Downtown Farmers Market was established. With the assistance of the Eau Claire Main Street Association and the City of Eau Claire, the Downtown Farmers Market officially opened for business in June 1994, with approximately 25 vendors in the Railroad Street Parking Lot.
The Downtown Farmers Market has now grown to a membership of 70 vendors. The market membership aspires to offer an increasingly wide variety of vegetables, fruits, flowers, breads, etc., and to offer products of highest quality and freshness. The Downtown Farmers Market operates in a covered pavilion in Phoenix Park located on the corner of Riverfront Terrace and Madison Street.
Saturdays, 7:30AM - 1PM
June 2019 - October 2019
Wednesdays and Saturdays, 7:30AM - 1PM
Thursdays, 12PM - 5PM
Location: 300 Riverfront Terrace
November 2019 - April 2020
2nd Saturdays, 9AM - 12:30PM
Location: L.E. Phillips Senior Center - 1616 Bellinger