Downtown Evansville Farmers Market won’t open this spring

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The Downtown Evansville Farmers Market is closing shop. The market board decided to sit this season out because of declining business.

The announcement Friday morning on Facebook morning wasn’t well received from Farmers Market fans. It’s safe to say it will be missed, but it may not be missed for long.

“People are probably a little angry with us, but we really didn’t have any other choice,” said market leader Pattie Davis.

The downtown market was successful on Sycamore, Davis said. At its peak, they had more than 50 vendors filling the space near the old Greyhound bus terminal.

The market was forced to move to its new space on Bond Street last year to make way for construction. Davis said vendors were down to around 30 last year.

This year, Davis less than 10 vendors signed up for another season on Bond Street.

“I miss the customers and definitely miss the vendors,” Davis said. “I’ve gotten so many good friends.”

Josh Armstrong, director of the Downtown Alliance, is working to find the market a new home. The market has its eye on a spot, and it could come back in 2020.

“It brings people into our downtown, it provides something unique for our work force, and residents to do,” Armstrong said. “It’s an important thing to keep alive for our consumers and for our farmers.”

Armstrong says the farmers market used to draw a thousand people a week, so picking a new spot to maximize exposure isn’t easy in a crowded downtown.

He is committed to finding something to replace the downtown market this spring. The downtown market is delighted with the idea of something bigger and better.

“I would love to see sometime in the future, to have one with a covered top,” Davis added with a smile.

Davis says she’ll keep working to secure vendors next season.

In the meantime, Armstrong hopes to announce something for this season in the next couple of weeks.

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This story was originally published on February 15, 2019

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