It sounds so sublime: The sun sets over the rooftops, farmers hand out samples from their stalls, and local beer pours from taps. Phoenix Public Market fans arrive from all over the city, hand-picking vegetables and handmade jewelry. Not bad for a Thursday night.
But wait: Doesn’t the downtown Phoenix evening farmers market happen on Wednesdays?
“Wednesdays just weren’t getting the crowd to sustain our vendors,” says Sara Matlin, market manager for the Downtown Phoenix Farmer’s Market. “We’re trying to get our downtown vibe closer to the weekend. We just think Thursday’s energy is a little different.”
Starting Thursday, September 24, the open-air event will be called Downtown Sundown. And though the concept will be similar to the Wednesday markets, the Thursday event will feature more cocktails and prepared food. Downtown Sundown will take place from 5 to 9 p.m. and will feature live entertainment, including music, film screenings, and performing arts groups. With the weekend approaching, organizers hope that Downtown Sundown will offer a more festive atmosphere.
The Wednesday market discontinued in May. Matlin says that the farmers market staff has learned a lot from traveling to other cities and studying their trends.
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“The decision was pretty easy,” she says. “We wanted to bring something more lively and exciting.”
The rest of Downtown Phoenix Public Market’s calendar will remain the same: The cafe is still open every day from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Food Truck Fridays will continue to bring together mobile kitchens for lunch. The keynote event is still the Saturday farmers market, which attracts growers and producers from all over the region. Downtown Sundown is expected to showcase about half as many stalls as the Saturday market.
“Some people were disappointed to see Wednesdays go,” Matlin concedes. “I live nearby, and Wednesday was always my shopping day. But we’ll still have the full shopping experience.”
For more information about Phoenix Public Market, visit phxpublicmarket.com.