By Fletcher McCall
ORLANDO—Lake Eola is home to a Farmer’s Market that has been a weekly event since 1987.
The Market has well over 50 booths selling anything from cacti to customized dog bandanas and even exotic drinks carved from pineapples.
“It’s crazy hot out here, but we love it,” said the fruit stand employee while slinging the pineapple beverages.
The Farmer’s Market is home to many people starting up businesses and others who are continuing a passion formed years ago. The variety of booths include: paintings of Orlando, dreamcatchers, custom leatherwork, house plants, flowers, and more.
The market is hosted on the trail that borders the lake from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 20 N. Eola Drive.
Many local companies come together each week to create this event for the community, including live music, food trucks, local juice bars, and miscellaneous exotic food tents. Scotty Long will perform live music Sept. 30 at the Market.
The atmosphere is pet friendly, child friendly, family friendly, and perfect for a stroll around the lake, a light snack, and maybe a cold beverage.
The quantity of meal-sized food is abundant around Lake Eola. Vendors offer a range of food from $1 hot dogs all the way to full meals barely breaking $10. Food options remain open for everyone regardless the diet restrictions. There are foods for Kosher, vegan, vegetarian, and omnivorous diets.
The park also features an array of animal entertainment, including live bird shows. Local swans and geese wander around the lake along with the new-born ducklings totaling over 50. You can also find local performers everywhere around the lake, singing, dancing, and playing music.
The Orlando Farmers Market has moved several times, but Lake Eola is its third and final home. Having been around for more than 30 years, the Market has grown since its conception.
The Orlando Farmers Market has played a large part in helping the community of Orlando to connect, a role that appears will continue for many years to come.
Farmer’s markets, of course, are not limited to downtown Orlando. Other cities host their own markets as well:
- Sanford Farmer’s Market is held on Magnolia Square in downtown Sanford every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- The Maitland Farmer’s Market is located at Lake Lily Park at the intersection of Maitland Ave and 17-92 in Maitland and is held every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. This location includes onsite parking and ATMs.
- The Winter Park Farmer’s Market hosts the number one produce and plant market in Central Florida and is held at the old train depot, located at 200 West New England Avenue. The market takes place every Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is a popular community attraction that provides fine produce, plants, baked goods and more.
- Oviedo hosts their market on the first Saturday of every month from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on the grounds of the historic Lawton house on 200 West Broadway (Highway 426).
- The Mount Dora Village Market has exploded since migrating into Sunset Park in the downtown historic district. Taking place every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Market is closed during the Mount Dora Craft Fair, Mount Dora Spring Fest, Mount Dora Art Festival and the Mount Dora Bicycle Festival.