Saturday Farmers Market Added to Bixby Park

Local Harvest is adding Saturdays to their already successful Tuesday night farmers market at Bixby Park.  The Bixby Park Farmers Market will operate from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm every Saturday, starting on the first day of spring – March 21.  “The farmers market on Tuesday night was a game changer at Bixby Park, so I can’t think of a better way to further activate the park while providing a service to the neighborhood,” said Vice Mayor Suja Lowenthal.

Park supporters enthusiastically welcomed the news at a park fundraiser last night, during which market director Lee Ostendorf shared the good news as she was being honored.  Ostendorf, a Long Beach native who remembers coming to Iowa Picnics at the park, approached the Vice Mayor’s office about adding a second day and focusing on children’s activities.  “Since the beginning of the Tuesday Farmers Market, customers have said that they wished it was on the weekend so they could attend. It is hard for many to get home from work on Tuesdays and still be able to stop by the market.  However, the Saturday market will be a little different than Tuesdays. I would like to add activities for kids, coordinating with our wonderful park staff and community. On opening day there will be pony rides and a petting zoo,” said Ostendorf.

Thus far, the following farmers and vendors are confirmed for Saturdays: Lincoln Springs Farm, Energy Bee Farm, YNT Farming, Zuckerman’s Farm, Sunny Cal Farm, Chavez Farms, Gama Farm, Lim’s Apple Farm, Hillside Farm, Grow Somethin’ Wild, Buma Farm and The Fat Plant Man. Hot foods include Chef Rad, Gourmet Crepes, Wink’s Lobster Roll, Mama Sui’s, Wajin’s Mediterranean Food, Salsa Anytime, Pizza Stix and Me Gusta Gourmet Tamales.  Specialty foods include  Ann’s Bakery, Sola Foods, The Fresh Dip, Gourmet Cobbler, Aris Food, Bread Creations, Healthy Butter, and Rose Park Bakery. New confirmations are coming in daily.

Lowenthal and Ostendorf had been looking for opportunities to locate a second market in District 2 for more than a year, but the idea of adding a second day at Bixby Park came only recently, when Ostendorf’s Saturday market in Huntington Beach became too costly to operate on a private parking lot.  Since a great majority of residents walk or ride their bike to the market, Ostendorf believes parking will not be a problem.  In addition, more than 400 parking spaces will be available once again in the Junipero Beach lot as the new pedestrian beach path is completed.  Bixby Park is located at 130 Cherry Avenue at Broadway.