Off To Market
from Lindsey Asay | Eugene on the Cheap
If you have never been to the Saturday Market, then well……you’ve never truly experienced Eugene. Saturday April 2nd, the Saturday Market returns to downtown Eugene for its 41st year. On May 9th, 1970,the first Saturday Market opened, in rainy weather, with a volunteer co-ordinator and 29 vendors. Today the market has over 800 active members who sling their wares every Saturday, rain or shine from 10am to 5pm.
I used to be one of those people, setting up the booth at 7am in the damp, taking it down in the dark (long live Get Fried Rice). Working and cooking with my family and friends. People watching, eating, exploring and simply enjoying the overall market experience. Those Saturdays now feel like a lifetime ago, that is until I set foot on the Park Blocks at 8th & Oak, smell the food and it all comes right back.
The market is more than great people watching (seriously….it’s good stuff), but a great way to spend a day out on the cheap. There are eighteen food booths in the food court, ranging from Thai to pizza. For under $10 you can get a Tia Burrito (1/2 pound of Toby’s seasoned tofu, tomato sauce and shredded lettuce packed into a corn tortilla) and drink from Toby’s Tofu Palace or a big slice of Dana’s homemade, hand-crafted cheesecake and a hot chocolate.
After grabbing your food of choice, wander over to the Market Stage and take a seat. There are six sets of music and other performances that take place weekly on the Market Stage. Take your kids to the 11 o’clock hour, for performances devoted weekly to children and/or by children. This year’s firstSaturday Market kicks off with performances by Chip Cohen at 10am, Rich Glauber at 11am , Acoustic Etouffee at noon, Accordians Anonymous at 1pm, Conjugal Visitors at 2pm followed by Zambuko at 3:30pm. Did I mention these shows are free? These shows are FREE!
If you wake up Saturday not sure of what the day holds, put on jeans and a hoodie and head to the market. A day of good (cheap) food, free music, and shopping under the sun sounds pretty good to me. I just may see you there!