Chapman says opening day will also feature a farm photo booth with the requisite cowboy hat and pig ear props; Slow Food Charleston's Tiny Tastemakers program will be onsite with free activities geared toward children; the Dee Norton Center will be doing a kid's activity; Red Cedar Review bluegrass band takes the stage from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.; and Reading Partners of Charleston will be on hand selling books.
"[This year] We're going to bring in more not for profit groups and community groups to spread awareness for what they're doing," Chapman says.
They're also bringing in a handful of new vendors for the 2019 season: Annie O Love Granola — "all her stuff is vegan, the vegan cheesecake is out of this world" — illustrator Tammi Boyce, Amore Sausage Company, Carya Pecan Milk, Charleston Hemp Company, Herbs and Petals (flower arrangements with locally grown herbs), and Reverend Cornbread.
You can get your vegan cookie fix and whimsical prints this Saturday; the other vendors will be phased in later this season.
Chapman has some tips for all market attendees: "Speak to the farmers about their produce and ask for their suggestions on how to prepare them best; grab a coffee or freshly prepared juice to browse the market and make decisions on what to purchase on your second time through; and visit the information booth near the live music, so we can help you navigate the market."
Chapman says they'll also have posters ($10) and T-shirts ($20) for sale featuring the 2019 artwork, created by local artist Alex Waggoner.
It goes without saying that the market will be crowded this weekend (and truly, any Saturday with nice-ish weather through December). Finding free street parking nearby can be a challenge, although there are plenty of meter spots and parking garages in walking distance. The hope, though, is that this year, farmers market attendees will think a moment before they jump in the car.
As we wrote last month, this year's poster features Waggoner's design of a CARTA bus overflowing with produce. "One of the challenges people think, is 'there's no parking,'" says Chapman. "The fact that we don't have free parking — you could travel all around downtown with public transportation."
Visit RideCarta.com to find your route in advance of the market.