Organizers of the new LA River Farmers’ Market hope the weekly event premiering Thursday at the Los Angeles State Historic Park will become a gathering place for the diverse communities of downtown and Northeast LA to enjoy the products of local farmers and artisans, access social services, and celebrate the cultural heritage of the region.
The market launches May 26 at 3 pm and will take place every Thursday from 3 to 7:30 pm at the park which is adjacent to the L.A. River – about 3 miles West of Boyle Heights– and will be accessible to visitors by foot, bicycle, light rail, bus, and car.
The certified farmers’ market will be located at the South entrance to the park, near the intersection of Spring St. and College St. in Chinatown, directly adjacent to L.A. Metro’s Chinatown Gold Line Station.
“A farmers’ market was always part of the original community-led vision for this park, to bring a new source of fresh whole foods to the neighborhoods surrounding LASHP,” said Kathleen Johnson of the Los Angeles River State Park Partners, one of the three organizations launching the market. “We hope that the new LA River Farmers’ Market will serve as a vibrant hub that can support both economic opportunity and community wellness more broadly.”
Partnering with the nonprofit Los Angeles River State Park Partners in the market are the California State Parks and SEE-LA, another nonprofit that runs certified farmers markets at five other locations, including Hollywood and Echo Park.
Among festivities planned for Thursday’s opening day, downtown’s LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes will roll out it’s mobile exhibit “LA Troka: Sembrando Cultura y Nutrición,” which explores the interconnections between the foods we eat and their historical and cultural significance, while also teaching about the nutritional components of Mesoamerican ancestral foods.
Plaza de la Raza’s Youth Mariachi will be among the entertainment hosted at Thursday’s opening.
The LA River Farmers’ Market will accept two nutrition assistance programs, SNAP/CalFresh and WIC, and participate in the Market Match program that matches SNAP dollars up to $10 for the purchase of fresh fruits and vegetables. Visitors may sign up for these programs at the market, and learn about recycling food waste from LA Composting.
Vendors will include: Balkanska Magic Co., Cardenas Farms, Coldwater Canyon Provisions, Delmy’s Pupusas, El Machete, Gogoma Bakes, Gu Grocery, Kathy’s Kitchen, Fungi Valley Specialty Mushrooms, Luis Suarez Farms, Microgreen Mama, Sunrise Organic Farms, and more. To see a full list of participating vendors, please visit lariverfarmersmarket.org.
Besides shopping, visitors will be able to enjoy the 32 acres of open space at the park: wander its pathways, explore native habitats, and enjoy views of the Downtown skyline, Elysian Park and the North Broadway Viaduct.