They grow up so fast. A popular weekly gathering in Ocean Beach where you can snag everything from fresh, local produce to quirky homemade crafts turns 25 this month.
If you’ve ever been in Ocean Beach mid-week it’s hard to miss the live music, vendors and smell of tasty "Torpastas" (baguettes stuffed with pasta) wafting through the air along Newport Avenue, between Cable and Bacon streets.
Each Wednesday, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. (and until 7 p.m. in the winter months), the Ocean Beach Farmers Market sets up shop, showcasing local vendors of all varieties.
This month, the farmers market celebrates its 25th anniversary with special activities at the market including giveaways like free commemorative reusable produce bags. On May 17, San Diego City Councilwoman Lorie Zapf will be there to present a proclamation to the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association recognizing the quarter-century-old OB Farmers Market.
The free-spirited market carries with it the fun, funky vibe of Ocean Beach.
“It’s like a neighborhood gathering, every week,” said David Klaman, manager of the OB Farmers Market.
In the summer months, shoppers come straight from the beach in their swimsuits to the market to grab snacks after spending all day on the sand, whether it’s a locally grown basket of strawberries or heartier treats like tacos, tamales, ceviche, sandwiches and crepes. Like a solid farmers market, vendors provide samples so shoppers can make their choices with certainty.
Perusing the booths, shoppers will also find fresh flowers, art created by locals and other goodies. Local musicians perform live every week, setting the tone for the affair. Usually, a band performs at 4 p.m. and another takes the spotlight at 6 p.m.
“As far as the amount of diversity of people coming in, the amount of music going on at the market and the amount of things available at the market – it’s a phenomenal market,” said Matthew McCreight, an OB Farmers Market vendor from Smit Farms, in a video created by the Ocean Beach MainStreet Association.
“You get so many interesting people and the people from all areas, and all kinds of personalities, which is great,” he added.
Entry to the OB Farmers Market is free; bring money for whatever goodies you end up taking home.