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Downtown Syracuse farmers market returns, features live music each week

Elvis impersonator Tom Gilbo performs during the downtown Syracuse farmers market in Clinton Square on June 13, 2023.
Ava Pukatch
Elvis impersonator Tom Gilbo performs during the Syracuse downtown farmers market in Clinton Square on June 13, 2023.

The Syracuse Downtown Farmers Market returned to Clinton Square for its 51st season Tuesday.

A variety of farms and local vendors lined Clinton Square Tuesday morning selling fruits, vegetables, artisan goods and plants.

Heather Schroeder, Deputy Director and Director of Economic Development for the Downtown Committee of Syracuse, said the market is an integral part of the Syracuse community.

"We are the center of Syracuse," Schroeder said. "We're the center of central New York. To be able to offer locally grown and locally produced products and feature them in our central business district is really an honor."

For the first time in years, the downtown market will feature meat for sale.

Amanda Vitale, executive director of the CNY Regional Market, said a grant from the Department of Agriculture and Markets for New York State is allowing for the partnership to return and for the CNY Mobile Market to fill some of the product gaps in the downtown area. She said the goal is to get more affordable and healthy products into the hands of the people in Syracuse.

"Some of the main products that we're really looking to fill the gaps on are dairy products, eggs, meats," Vitale said. "Those kinds of products are a little bit harder to get into the smaller markets. As the weeks go on, we'll also look to fill in some other gaps, such as maple and honey and another products we can get out into the community."

Also new this season: live music every week from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The market opens and closes with Elvis Impersonator Tom Gilbo.

Rob Travers is in his second season as the market manager.

"We have three different farmers that are coming down," Travers said. "We have a coffee dealer. We've reached out further to bring in more people. Hopefully, we'll have a good season this year. I'm looking forward to everybody making money and everybody coming down and enjoying the lunch and our music."

The market is held Tuesdays in Clinton Square from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and runs through October 10. The June 20 market will take place in the One Lincoln Center Parking Lot. There is no market on July 4.

Ava Pukatch joined the WRVO news team in September 2022. She previously reported for WCHL in Chapel Hill, NC and earned a degree in Journalism and Media from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC, Ava was a Stembler Scholar and a reporter and producer for the award-winning UNC Hussman broadcast Carolina Connection. In her free time, Ava enjoys theatre, coffee and cheering on Tar Heel sports. Find her on Twitter @apukatch.