City’s farmers market rolls out the goods Saturday

Customers purchase fresh produce from a vendor yesterday afternoon at the new location for the Harlingen Farmers Market. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was held for the new, larger venue at 2nd Street and Tyler Avenue, next to Harlingen City Hall.

HARLINGEN — If there’s a reminder of fall’s imminent arrival, it comes with the opening of the Harlingen Farmers Market.

The farmers market at 2nd Street and Tyler Avenue near Harlingen City Hall will re-open for its ninth year on Saturday during its usual hours of 3 to 4:30 p.m. The market formerly was held in the downtown historic district.

“It’s much more visible, there’s tons of parking, and as much as we love Market Days, we now have our own space that we know when we arrive our spaces will be there,” said Kate McSwain, market manager.

“And also it’s a much busier street so we’ve got all of our banners up and we’ve had so many new customers come and others who thought it was once and month and now they know it’s every Saturday,” she added.

McSwain said at least 25 vendors will be on hand selling everything from “appetizers through desserts.”

“We have grass-fed beef, vegetables, we have locally-raised quail, bread and jams and cheese, all produced within 50 miles of the market,” she said. “When you buy it, you’re buying it from the person who grew it or made it.”

Other items for sale include things like locally produced organic soaps and crafts.

The Harlingen Farmers Market always has live music on its market day, and is kid- and pet-friendly.

“We have hand-crafted dog treats,” she said.

McSwain said the market usually attracts between 300 and 500 customers each day for the mid-afternoon mini-festival. The timing of the market’s opening is due to most vendors selling in McAllen or Brownsville on Saturday mornings before arriving in Harlingen.

There is no cost to attend the market. In addition to the live music, McSwain said there is an educational component for those looking for new ways to prepare and serve what they buy.

“We also have monthly chef demos and we’ll have that the first Saturday of each month,” she said. “We use local chefs.“

If you go

WHAT — Harlingen Farmers Market

WHEN — Season begins Saturday, Oct. 19, from 3 to 4:30 p.m.

WHERE — Next to City Hall at 2nd Street and Tyler Avenue