By MADELEINE HOYT
Downtown Missoula streets will be bustling with activity, as the Saturday Morning Market Season opens this Saturday, May 7, 2016. All three public markets will open on the same day for the first time in several years.
Created in 1972, the original Missoula Farmers’ Market is the longest-standing public market in Montana. Located at the North End of Higgins Avenue by the Red XXXX’s and adjacent to the Historic Railroad Depot, it runs Saturdays from 8 am to 12:30 pm through October and Tuesdays from 5:30-7 pm July through September. The Missoula Farmers’ Market features locally-produced fruits and vegetables, meats and dairy products, as well as plants, flowers, baked goods, a variety of hot and cold beverages and prepared foods. More information can be found at the Missoula Farmers Market website.
The Missoula People’s Market will relocate this year to the 100 block of West Pine Street, just across Higgins from its former location. Created in 1998, the People’s Market runs from 9 am to 1 pm and features hand-crafted arts from nearly 100 local artists and craftsmen. For more information, visit the Missoula People’s Market website .
The Clark Fork Market is Missoula’s largest market and was started in 2005. It runs every Saturday in the Riverfront Parking Lot, adjacent to the Higgins Bridge, from 8 am to 1 pm through September and 9 am to 1 pm in October. The market features locally-produced fruits and vegetables, meats, poultry, fish, and dairy products, as well as plants, flowers, baked goods, a variety of hot and cold beverages, prepared foods, wool and other wares from Western Montana farmers, ranchers and chefs. More information can be found at the Clark Fork Market website.
Each market has its own Board of Directors and Market Master, and each has a distinct application process for vendors. The markets draw folks from all across the country to the heart of Missoula every Saturday morning.
Ample parking is available throughout Downtown, and all parking is free Saturdays, Sundays, holidays and evenings.
The Mountain Line Market Trolley runs up and down Higgins Avenue from market to market. Additionally, Mountain Line remains zero-fare, and all routes begin and end in Downtown.
“The Saturday Morning Markets add an incredible vibe to Downtown Missoula that is the envy of many Downtowns across the Rocky Mountain West,” said Aimee McQuilkin, Board President for the Missoula Downtown Association. “Our Downtown community is incredibly grateful for all the vendors, farmers, ranchers, crafters, board members, market masters and customers who support the markets.”
For more information on what’s happening in Downtown Missoula, contact the Downtown Missoula Partnership office via phone (406-542-4238).