LARAMIE -- Summer is here. That means the first Downtown Laramie Farmers Market of the summer season starts Friday, June 28 and runs every Friday thru Sept. 27 from 3 to 7 p.m.

Jessica Brauer is the communications coordinator for the Laramie Main Street Alliance, hosts of the downtown market, held at the parking lot north of Depot Park on S. 1st St.

“The market is an opportunity for people to come and shop local produce, handmade goods, food trucks, and there’s always live music. We bring in different organizations that have different things going on – representing a project in the works, or, like Game and Fish will come with interactive projects, Smoky the Bear will show up – there’s always something new going on each week,” Brauer said.

“We wheel out a Toy Library that we started last year. Now that we’re kind of near Depot Park, we utilize the green space. It’s been really fun watching the families come out and grab some food, lay a blanket out, and hang out, let the kids play, parents can get out and have a beer, listen to music, whatever!

“I like to think of the Farmers Market as kind of the kick-off to the weekend in Laramie. We see a lot of people who duck out of work early, come out and do their shopping, maybe go out to dinner, then do whatever they do for the weekend. We certainly don’t expect everybody to stay downtown all weekend long when there are so many beautiful things to do when the weather’s nice. But the Friday market is kind of a way to get the weekend started.”

With over 80 vendors and organizations signed up for the 2019 season featuring locally grown fresh produce, handmade goods, local art, seasonal cocktails, and live music, Brauer said they don’t all come on the same week, but the products on display vary from week to week. And the new location has made a huge difference.

“It’s based on the season. We see a lot more produce vendors toward the end of the growing season because there’s more to sell! And we moved the location from the street last year, which allowed us to invite more vendors to come, so the market actually expanded. That’s been really exciting for us. We get to highlight more vendors, see more fresh faces come in. There’s always a waiting list, always an interest in this market. People want to be involved.”

While you’re in Laramie’s downtown area, stop in and visit the many unique businesses that have set up shop in the historic business district. Brauer said many of the downtown businesses participate in the weekly event that attracts hundreds of shoppers.

“We definitely encourage the businesses downtown – whether they come out to the market and have a booth, or if they participate by offering some sort of promotion or event happening in their store. People are coming downtown, we want them to have a good time . . . maybe they start out at the market, and then they go to dinner or do some shopping to buy some gifts. We definitely want to holistically celebrate the whole district. We see a lot of that happening.”

For more information on the market, for a vendor application, to become a sponsor, or to apply as a live music performer, visit Laramiemainstreet.org/farmers market, or call 307-760-3355.

Monica Materi Esquivel is the 2019 Farmers Market Director, and she can be reached by email at laramiefarmersmarket@gmail.com

The Laramie Main Street Alliance is at 115 Ivinson Ave. in downtown Laramie.