Celebrating locally grown products and the creativity of local makers is a staple of the Colorado spirit year-round. This is especially true during the summer months when the Front Range, Rocky Mountains and many suburbs of the state’s metro areas positively teem with vibrant farmers market events.
It’s no surprise that perusing the booths of local farmers, start-ups and artists has been a favorite summer pastime of many Coloradans for decades given the proud local culinary and artisan traditions of so many of the state’s locales. But these markets aren’t just about gastronomic delights, as many of these events and their institutions serve important philanthropic purposes when it comes to advocating for environmental and agricultural sustainability, supporting community members in need and much more.
With farmers market season in full swing, we put together a quick round-up of a few of these events for you to sample when you’re craving a day of local excitement and community connections.
Boulder County Farmers Markets
To say that the Boulder County Farmers Markets organization has grown since its inception would be an understatement. What started as a small gathering of local farmers sharing their wares in 1987 has evolved into a much-loved nonprofit institution that is integral to Boulder’s summertime culture. While its scope and popularity have blossomed, its goal of supporting the health and success of the local food system has remained.
Boulder County Farmers Markets runs recurring seasonal market events as well as a year-round online marketplace. The summertime Boulder Farmers Market on Saturdays runs from April to November from 8 AM to 2 PM. In addition to a cornucopia of culinary delights, visitors enjoy live music, activities for children and artisan markets on the second Saturday of each month. These events are complemented by the Boulder Farmers Market on Wednesdays, which runs from May to October from 4 PM to dusk.
Meanwhile, the Longmont Farmers Market operates from April to November from 8 AM to 1 PM and likewise features monthly artisan markets (on the fourth Saturday of the month) and an impressive host of local producers and makers.
Boulder County Farmers Market events are also great places to score your stash of Palisade peaches, with the most abundance in August and September.
Cherry Creek Fresh Market
The list of goods available at the Cherry Creek Fresh Market is enough to make any food lover swoon. From locally grown fruits and vegetables to local honey, artisanal baked goods, fresh smoothies, exquisite cheeses and much more, it’s an event that boasts enormous opportunities for fresh food and handcrafted treasure discovery.
The Cherry Creek Fresh Market is part of Colorado Fresh Markets, an incubator program that has supported hundreds of local food producers, entrepreneurs, artisan makers and food-related causes through its seasonal fresh food events since 1997.
The Cherry Creek Fresh Market encompasses a number of dog-friendly events, including the Saturday Fresh Market and Makers Marketplace from May 6 to November 4 from 9 AM to 2 PM and the Wednesday Summer Market from June 14 to August 16 from 9 AM to 1 PM. For those searching for coveted Palisade peaches, the fruit is listed as one of the market’s “4 Favs” of summer along with homegrown tomatoes, Olathe sweet corn and Rocky Ford melons.
The Denver Metro Area plays host to numerous additional farmers markets throughout the summer as well, including the City Park Farmers Market, the Union Station Farmers Market and many more.
Fresh Foothills Finds
Venturing into Denver’s foothills, locavores can find multiple farmer's markets with distinct community vibes. The Golden Farmers Market, established in 2002, is one such much-loved local event. With a mantra of “Community Sprouting Growth,” these events feature myriad local businesses and vendors and are run by the Golden Chamber of Commerce in an effort to promote connections, growth, innovation and food equity. These events occur on Saturdays from 8 AM to 1 PM from June 3 to October 7.
Further into the foothills is the Evergreen Farmers’ Market, which recently moved to its new home at the historic El Rancho restaurant. This Tuesday market runs from May 30 to September 26 from 10 AM to 2 PM.
Mountain Town Markets
Whether it’s for a day trip or a weekend getaway, jaunts to explore Colorado’s mountain towns can be enhanced with a stroll through many of these locales’ unique farmer's markets.
The Aspen Saturday Market is a much-loved local tradition that was established in 1998. From mid-June to early October on Saturday mornings from 8:30 AM to 2 PM, visitors can enjoy a bevy of Colorado-grown and produced artisan goods in a stunning ski town setting.
Meanwhile, the Steamboat Springs Farmers Market is celebrating its thirteenth year this summer with its vibrant Saturday markets from June 10 to September 23. From 9 AM to 2 PM, visitors can peruse the booths of vendors offering a host of fresh, local consumable goods and enjoy a kaleidoscope of arts and crafts.