Oxford Community Market Spring Kick-Off set for April 16

Published 12:33 pm Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Every April, Oxford Community Market celebrates the start of the spring growing season with its annual Spring Kick-Off Party at the farmers’ market.

Music fills the air, customers mingle and farmers’ stalls are piled high with spring favorites like tender salad greens and bright red strawberries, transforming an empty open-air pavilion into a bustling, vibrant public marketplace.

This year’s OXCM’s 2024 Spring Kick-Off will be from 3-6:30 p.m. on April 16 at the Old Armory Pavilion located at 1801 University Ave.

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OXCM is celebrating its 11th anniversary of serving the community as Oxford’s only year-round weekly farmers market. This event kicks off this season’s series of events to bring the community together to commemorate this milestone year for the market.

“It’s been remarkable to watch this market grow over the last decade,” said OXCM Director Betsy Chapman, who stepped in to run the market in 2014. “Sustaining this farmers’ market has been the ultimate group project, with countless people, groups and organizations pitching in and committing to keep it growing, despite enormous challenges.

“Through the years, we’ve built a community of farmers, customers, volunteers and partners to help grow and sustain the market, support our farmers and expand our programs to improve access to healthy food.”

OXCM’s Spring Kick-Off is free and open to the public. It will feature live music by Firewood, featuring Luke and Amy Fisher, Ricky Burkhead and Lucas Leigh; free cake from Velvet Ditch Confections; and Chef at the Market sampling by Ole Miss Dining. There will be giveaways, activities for kids, a visit from the baby goats of Flowering Tree Farm and offerings of Oxford’s biggest selection of locally grown spring produce and other goods from local food producers.

“Our farmers and food producers take such great pride in bringing their best to market every week,” said Chapman. “In early spring, customers can find strawberries, lettuces, kale, spinach, collards, cabbages, spring onions, carrots, broccoli – all just-picked and super fresh.”

Chapman added that folks can find the market again from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, April 18, at the OXCM Goes to College event on Business Row at the University of Mississippi, in partnership with the UM Office of Sustainability and Ole Miss Dining.

“This is a favorite spring event for our market community, where we pack up and bring the whole market to campus to introduce students, faculty and staff to their local farmers and all of the good food that is grown and produced right here in North Mississippi,” Chapman said.

In addition to the campus market, OXCM is partnering with Ole Miss Dining to bring a little bit of local goodness to the university through the “Farmstand Food Truck” project. This project features a rotating series of local chefs and farmers serving lunch showcasing locally sourced ingredient. It is open Monday-Friday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Business Row.

The market is open every Tuesday year-round, rain or shine, from 3-6:30 p.m. at the Old Armory Pavilion. For more information about OXCM, visit www.oxfordcommunitymarket.com, follow OXCM on social media, or contact Chapman at 622-816-7413.