Twice already this summer the Capitol's East Lawn has filled up with tents for the Farmers Market at the Capitol. Thursday is the third and final market for the summer. The event, now in its 10th year, is hosted by the Michigan Farmers Market Association. Farmers Market at the Capitol brings over 70 vendors from across the state to sell their goods.
And while it is a farmers market, you can find more than just produce under the tents. All kind of artisanal food products are available, from cheeses and chocolates to sauces and snacks. Vendors are small businesses from all over Michigan.
“They’re strongly traditional and trendy at the same time,” Dru Montri, executive director of the association, told City Pulse before the series’ July kickoff.
There are even non-edible goods for sale, such as homemade soaps and beauty supplies. Vendors are tapping in to popular demand for craft products — and offering an alternative to the grocery store.
Thursday’s market includes more than just shopping. Lansing-based blues band Root Doctor entertains market-goers starting at noon, and live yoga and Zumba lessons are available thanks to Just B Yoga and Lansing Parks and Recreation. There will also be three cooking demonstrations by Kurt Kwiatkowski, corporate chef for Michigan State University. Kwiatkowski oversees food production, recipes, and food sourcing for the university’s dining commons and retail concessions.
City Pulse will be at the market to meet our readers and hand out copies of the latest paper. Visitors to the City Pulse tent will also have a chance to get a free caricature drawn by local artist Dennis Preston.
Preston said the most common reaction to his caricature portraits is “a smile and a laugh.” He draws the eyes first, and then goes on to capture the most prominent features of the face.
“I’ve had people drop on the ground from laughing,” Preston said.
Preston has been part of the Lansing art scene since his highschool years, designing T-shirts, album covers and posters for area bands, festivals and businesses. He has taught cartooning classes at Lansing Community College since 1977. For many years, his napkin doodles could be purchased at local Biggby cafés, until the company tightened its rules regarding decor. Preston's art is still available for purchase at his online store, Prestoons (society6. com/prestoons).
The venue is no coincidence; the group makes it a goal to draw lawmakers’ attention to farmers and small businesses.
At the same time, the market reaches out to the average Joe as well. By accepting SNAP Bridge cards, Double Up Food Bucks and other benefits programs, the market aims to be accessible to everyone.
Farmers Market at the Capitol
10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 FREE East Capitol Lawn 124 W. Allegan St., Lansing (517) 432-3381, mifma.org
Stop by the City Pulse tent for a free caricature by Dennis Preston 10 a.m.-noon