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Places to Visit in Grand Rapids, MI

Fulton Street Farmers Market

Fulton Street Farmers Market is the longest-running farmers market in the Grand Rapids region. It has been a popular attraction for people of the city and the surrounding metropolitan region since it first opened in 1922. The market features 118 covered outdoor booths and a modest number of inside sellers in a shopping hall that also contains the information desk. From May to Christmas, the market is open four days a week, then only on Saturdays from January to April. The emphasis is on farm produce, with vendors selling locally grown produce taking precedence. On busy days, mobile food sellers such as food trucks and food carts also serve diners. It’s in Grand Rapids’ Midtown neighborhood, just west of the junction of Fulton Street East and Fuller Avenue NE. From June through September, the area hosts an art market on Sundays. Food trucks and carts also serve consumers on peak days. The land where the Fulton Street Farmers Market presently stands was originally known as the East Side Market and was set aside by the city to alleviate traffic congestion caused by farmers selling food block by block from their vans or carts. An office structure was completed in 1926, which has been occupied by the Midtown Neighborhood Association after the market office moved to a new facility in 2013. Tanis Orchards, which dates back to 1931, has the longest tenure of many loyal and frequent merchants. There are several “seasonal” vendors (those who have the first refusal on their booth for the full season) as well as a large number of daily merchants. Saturday, the busiest market day, has a waiting list.  In 2012 and 2013, the market had a $3 million refurbishment. In 2012, a roof was installed, as well as a rebuilt outdoor market space and permanent booths with power and lights, and in May 2013, a year-round vendor facility opened. Vendor space, bathrooms, the market office, and an information desk are all part of the 2,000-square-foot area. There is parking on the market grounds, but it is limited on busy days like Saturdays. The neighboring Salvation Army facility, located across Fuller Avenue, lends its parking lot to market customers on Saturdays. In most cases, street parking is available in the vicinity. At both the north and south ends of the market, there are restrooms. Guests and vendors can use the free Wi-Fi. At the south end of the indoor vendors’ hall, there is an ATM. At each end, there are bike racks. Disabled parking is available in the market’s center.

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