The Red River Market is moving through its fourth year of operation here in the Fargo-Moorhead area. Every Saturday, starting mid-morning and going into late afternoon, the market brings together 60-80 vendors selling items from produce to household goods and art. They also bring in full programming featuring educational activities, musical performances and even cooking demonstrations.
The market has been described as a place where all are welcome by founders, students and bystanders. Local farms bring fresh food, musicians bring their many talents and the Fargo-Moorhead area begs for community to grow and interact.
Simone Wai is one of five co-founders of the Red River Market. For Wai, the market is an important component of community bonding. It’s a place where everyone is welcome.
“Along with just being a farmers’ market, we value being a public space for our community to spend time in our turf plaza having lunch or a beverage, listening to local musicians,” she said.
Wai also shared that they hope the future of the market becomes more permanent in its space at the new plaza at Broadway and 2nd Ave in Fargo. They hope that with membership and fundraising programs they can become more financially stable and continue to grow. Lastly, they hope to start working with more local business owners in order to broaden the variety of opportunities they can offer to the community.
Not only is the market a welcoming gathering place for community members, it also supports the community at large in some special ways.
Wai expressed that there are some very important parts of the market that don’t seem to be well-known to the public. Through a sponsorship with Essentia Health, those on SNAP/EBT can double their food dollars at the market. When they spend $10, the market will match them an additional $10 for fresh and local foods. Another contribution the market has influence over is a surplus food donation. The market has partnered with the Master Gardeners and Great Plains Food Bank to donate any surplus produce to Churches United for the Homeless.
Race Hoglund, a Concordia senior, has played with his band The Jazz Committee about ten times over the past few years as one of the market’s live musicians. He shared that he has loved his experiences of playing for the live audiences and enjoys the ambiance of the market.
“It [the market] has really improved since its inception a few years ago,” Hoglund said, “And I thinks it’s a great atmosphere for any family or individual looking for something different to do on a weekend.”
Emily Ihde, a Concordia College senior, has visited the Red River Market on many occasions. She has seen the live performances and has had a chance to buy some of the fresh produce they have to offer.
“I love that all the produce is from local farmers and that it gives us all the opportunity to shop local and support those businesses that depend on the local economy to survive,” Ihde said.
Ihde looks forward to more fun Saturdays at the market and for more delicious fruits and vegetables. She recommends trying coffee from all the different coffee vendors available at the market, especially Stumbeano’s Coffee Roasters.
Follow the Red River Market on Facebook and Instagram to stay caught up on dates and to see what live entertainment they will be hosting next. For more information, or if you just want to check it out, visit their website at www.redrivermarket.com.