Arriving just in time for some seriously pleasant weather and National Strawberry Day, the 2013 season of the City Hall Farmers Market is kicking off today downtown. This marks the fourth year that the market has been operating in front of City Hall on Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
For opening day, chef Randy Evans of Haven and Cove will help celebrate National Strawberry Day by demonstrating his strawberry vinaigrette tossed with arugula, candied pecans and pink peppercorn goat cheese, and handing out samples to market-goers. Additionally, look for strawberries -- and blueberries -- from new vendor The Berry Best, a berry farm located in Silsbee.
Other new faces among the 30 to 40 vendors that line both sides of the City Hall reflecting pool include Java Pura Coffee Roasters, offering locally roasted coffee with a full coffee bar if you need a caffeine kick, and the Fraiche food truck, specializing in meals made with local produce and other ingredients.
All of your old favorite vendors will be back too, including Angela's Oven, Atkinson Farm, Hanka Farm, Renaissance Chicken, Swede, Texas Hill Country Olive Oil, Texas T Kobe and many more.
In addition to produce vendors, there are always plenty of prepared food stalls and trucks on hand as well, meaning you can grab lunch and get a spot at one of the picnic tables around the reflecting pool if you aren't doing any shopping for the week.
Downtown workers and residents are encouraged to walk to the market, although there is parking available around City Hall. If you can't find metered street parking (which...good luck during the day), park underground at the nearby Tranquility Park garage (400 Rusk; $3 for up to one hour, $6 for 1 to 2 hours) or at the Hobby Center garage (800 Bagby; $2 per hour), as long as there aren't any events going on at the Hobby Center.
The market will run every Wednesday through spring until its annual summer break.