Market on Central resumes downtown on Saturday

The season for Fort Dodge’s annual Market on Central begins June 14 and will feature nearly 60 vendors offering food, jewelry and pottery.

Cheryl O’Hern, market manager, said this year’s market will feature local vendors from Fort Dodge, Lehigh, Manson and Dayton, as well as those from Ames, Iowa Falls, Winterset and Grundy Center.

“There’s everything from a maple syrup vendor to a bee vendor with all kinds of honey products,” O’Hern said. “There will be enchiladas with a vendor out of Omaha, fresh produce and eggs as well as chicken and turkey.”

“There’s just about everything that you could find at a farmers’ market in the produce line,” she added.

Food vendors are only a part of what is expected at this year’s Market on Central.

“We have a variety of vendors,” she said. “We’ve got pottery and ceramics and jewelry. If it’s a unique homemade item, we’ve got a variety of them.”

O’Hern said this year will also feature entertainment and information.

“This year we’re promoting Buy Fresh, Buy Local Iowa,” O’Hern said. “It’s all about going from the farmer to the consumer. They’ll be helping understand where the food is made, how its made and how the consumer uses it afterwards.”

Market on Central was also one of 50 markets selected to be a part of the Discover You Can – Learn, Make Share program.

“They’ve given us educational material to work with people on how to preserve food and items that they buy at the Market,” O’Hern said. “They also explain how to take care of the items.”

She said there will be more variety this year. .

“They’re going to see a lot more of everything,” O’Hern said. “We’ve added about another 10 vendors and are close to 60 vendors overall. Those three blocks will be even busier.”

Last September, Market on Central was ranked 76 out of the top 101 farmers’ markets in the nation by The Daily Meal, a website dedicated to promoting food across the country. O’Hern said that publicity has benefitted the market.

“It’s helped substantially,” she said. “It’s helped with vendors and marketing. Anytime you get national recognition, it really helps.”

Market on Central is held every second and fourth Saturday from June until September. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.