Farmers Market to open next Saturday on Main Street - - Columbia, South Carolina |

Farmers Market to open next Saturday on Main Street

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For the first time in more than half a century, a Farmers Market is coming to downtown Columbia. In little more than a week, you'll be able to buy local produce on Main Street.

Starting in 2 weeks, with the help of Emile Defelice, Saturdays will bring farm-fresh produce to the heart of the city.

"There'll be lots of stands everywhere, people cooking food, selling food," said Defelice.

Right now, Defelice runs the All Local Farmers Market at 701 Whaley every Saturday morning. It's a bazaar-like atmosphere that attracts hundreds of customers who soon will be descending on Main.

"Seeing what was happening at the All Local Market, it was a dream to have it on Main Street," said Mayor Steve Benjamin.

Benjamin says Defelice's vision fits in well with Main Street's ongoing renaissance. The mayor hopes to make it a Saturday morning destination for shoppers across the state.

"I think in order for us to be this fantastic city, growing and changing, it's important to go back and see some of the things we use to do well," said Benjamin.

Up until the 50's, a Farmers market on Assembly was a capital city staple. Benjamin says they expect as many as 2,000 people a day.

"Everyone looks to the vibrancy of the city core as an indicator of the city's health," said Benjamin.

Defelice is still looking for vendors, food or otherwise, to fill the block.

"If you're a local retail store, and would like to vend down here, come and pitch a tent for a Saturday and talk to a few thousand happy people," said Defelice.

With final, unanimous approval from city council Tuesday night, the market will open next Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Parking is free in all city garages.

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