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Altoona, Meet your Market: River Prairie hosts new Monday farmers market

Lauren Fisher

The very first Altoona farmers market opened for business Monday, July 23 at River Prairie Park. In an attempt to balance existing markets rather than compete with them, the new weekly event will take place in the evenings from 4-7pm. This will allow shoppers to grab locally grown groceries on the way home from work, just in time for supper. The market is scheduled to run every week through the end of October, with the exception of Labor Day.

Roy Atkinson, management analyst for the City of Altoona, is one of the market’s organizers, along with Debra Goldbach, recreation manager. The market idea has been thrown around for some time, according to Atkinson, but the supportive response to the vendor market of the June P10 festival indicated that people were excited about the idea. “It really put a hop in our step to get it going,” he said.

“I think it’s the perfect space to have a farmer’s market,” Atkinson said. Organizers expect 8-10 vendors at each market, featuring flowers, vegetables, meat, and baked goods. Local musician Jeff Fagen will be busking on-site, and the city aims to have food trucks offering good eats.

“We think it’s a really good compliment to the work day,” Atkinson said. “It promotes healthy living in a lot of ways.” Atkinson is “brimming with optimism” about the new Altoona market, and looking forward to its pilot run.