Day 16: Chattanooga Market

by Jeff

The more things change…the more they remain the same!

Local vendors at the Chattanooga Market

Local vendors at the Chattanooga Market -

Crowds at the Chattanooga Market -

Crowds shuffling past the vendor booths -

When I first moved to Chattanooga to work, the market was a fixture on my weekend. Most folks plan their Sunday around football, I seemed to plan my Sunday around the market.

The attraction of the Chattanooga Market for us is sometimes the fresh produce, always in season and local.

Quarts of fresh strawberries at the Chattanooga Market

Strawberry season at the Chattanooga Market -

Sometimes it is the live music or a special event or simply to browse the crafts and art on display. The one event we miss is the Dachshund races we used to train for on a special Sunday in July!

Today we came to the market simply for the fun that it is. We always see folks we know and meet new folks. Today I saw an “out of place” Washington Redskins shirt and asked the owner his affiliation. Yes, he is a “die hard” Redskins fan and before long we had met his wife and 2 children, learned they recently moved from the DC area.

On any given Sunday the market is very interactive with a

Climbing wall at the Market!

Climbing wall at the Market! -

climbing wall for the kids, cooking classes, dance lessons or as I remember the time I won the Mayfield Dairy Ice Cream Eating Contest. I entered on a whim but got a great placement and scoop and walked away with an envelope of free ice cream coupons.

Glass ornaments on display

Glass ornaments on display -

Our yard displays many of the herbs and perennials we have found at the market and can always find a last minute gift from one of the many vendors who produce and market their wares. The Chattanooga Market brings people together through commerce, fellowship and fun. One weekend you may be tapping your feet to the music and the next you may be dancing the polka!

Most towns and small cities have a festival once a year…Chattanooga and beyond is blessed to have a festival every weekend!

Art on display at the Chattanooga Market

Art on display at the Chattanooga Market -

from the website – The Chattanooga Market is a dynamic non-profit organization, producing approximately 35 distinct events each season.  Representing over 5,000 acres of local and regional farms as well as over 200 vendors rotating each week, Chattanooga Market is the regions largest producer-only market.  Each Sunday, thousands of locals and tourists partake in this Chattanooga tradition – some events drawing up to 30,000 people.

Open air market at the First Tennessee Pavillion

Open air market at the First Tennessee Pavillion -

We welcome you to learn more about this phenomenon of buying local, supporting local economy and enjoying fellowship each Sunday.

Operating Hours

Sundays (4/25-12/5)
11am to 4pm
First Tennessee Pavilion

2010 Schedule for the Chattanooga Market

2010 Schedule for the Chattanooga Market -

Top 10 Responsibilities of Public Markets

During the 7th Annual Public Markets Conference, attendees were asked to brainstorm in small groups around the question, “What are the roles and responsibilities of public markets in reconnecting communities and local economies?”  Answers were written onto index cards, and collected throughout the three-day conference.

The top ten answers – the most recurring themes submitted – were presented to conference attendees:

  1. Catalyze neighborhood and downtown revitalization
  2. Build community and create a sense of local ownership and pride
  3. Educate members of the community, especially schools and local businesses, about the myriad benefits of markets
  4. Promote economic development
  5. Build and enhance social capital: markets as places which draw people together
  6. Support local products and the local exchange of goods
  7. Provide accessible food to all members of the community through EBT, food stamps and other programs
  8. Inspire a feel-good ambiance
  9. Create opportunities for small businesses
  10. Support, educate and sustain farmers

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