Manistee Farmers Market moves to new location

MANISTEE – The Manistee Farmers Market is set to have a new location this spring.

The Manistee Farmers Market plans to move to the Wagoner Community Center starting May 28. For years, the seasonal weekly Manistee Farmers Market was held in the parking lot of Veterans Memorial Park.

The move is part of a partnership between the Manistee Community Kitchen and the Manistee County Council on Aging.

The move further strengthens the partnership between the two organizations, according to Brian Garcia, Manistee Market Manager and Manistee Community Kitchen Board Member.

The Manistee Farmers Market will move to the Wagoner Center for the 2022 season. The Farmer’s Market will be held every Saturday from May 28 through October 1.

Submitted Photo/Brian Garcia

What to expect

The primary reason for the move, according to Garcia, is that the market outgrows the current space in the Veterans Memorial Park parking lot. He said the move should provide more space for vendors and customers.

“…The plan is to have the vendor stalls along the edges of the ‘vaulted’ driveway in front of the Wagoner Community Center, then there is plenty of customer parking on the sides and green spaces in the front yard for people to hang out, eat breakfast and lunch and listen to live music by the fountain,” Garcia said.

Market hours for the 2022 season are 9 a.m. to noon. every Saturday from May 28 through October 1 at the Wagoner Community Center, located at 260 Saint Mary’s Parkway in Manistee.

Garcia said the covered cabins and walkways along with the extensive parking and other amenities available at the center make the location more welcoming and friendly for everyone.

There is also an expanded entertainment area planned for live music and other cultural events which has always been a cornerstone of the market.

Garcia also mentioned that the move could help the market become a year-round affair. Covered stalls and walkways plus the ability to move around inside the Wagoner Center mean the market could operate year-round.

Benefits of partnerships

Over the years, the Aging and Community Kitchen Council plans to improve the community center grounds through the partnership by adding additional support to farmers and other artisan vendors with covered kiosks and walkways, Garcia said.

Judy Crockett, chair of the board of directors for the Manistee County Council on Aging, stressed the importance of “creating partnerships, programs and services that improve the lives” of seniors in the community.

“The space at the Wagoner Community Center has increased our ability to form more partnerships, reach more people in the community, and be a conduit for our seniors to access things like healthier food choices,” said Crockett.

Crockett also noted that the center has helped improve physical, social and emotional health.

“It’s a perfect partnership between our organizations,” Garcia said. “We’ve worked together for years with food aid programs, including Senior Project Fresh and supporting the area’s garden pantry. We’re very excited about the new location and working with the (council) ) to build a farmers market for the future.”

Garcia went on to say, “The Farmers Market is a true Manistee celebration of everyone who lives and works in our community.”

The Farmers Market last year celebrated its 20th season of providing locally grown food to the community of Manistee.

Sarah Howard, executive director of the Manistee County Council on Aging, said she was thrilled to be able to partner with the community kitchen and farmers’ market.

“The Wagoner Community Center will be a wonderful place for people to gather, listen to musicians, get their fruits and vegetables, get beautiful flowers, and support our local farmers,” Howard said.

Garcia said the market has been located in downtown Manistee for 20 years and that the market and community kitchen groups are “grateful to the city for providing a space for the community to come together and celebrate our culture all Saturdays”.

Garcia said that by moving the market and partnering with other organizations, the community kitchen hopes to support the market for future generations while continuing to honor its mission to provide healthy local food and end hunger in Manistee County.

The objectives of the Manistee Farmers Market are:

• Celebrating healthy foods and local food heritage and community;

• To raise awareness of where to buy local food and products;

• Connecting farmers, restaurants, retailers and consumers to foster a vibrant local food economy and community food security;

• Engage people in appreciating the benefits of supporting a sustainable local economy;

• Raising awareness of how local residents eat by educating through demonstration and sharing of knowledge; and

• Build community by creating a celebration of local cuisine that will become a defining cultural event for the Manistee County region.

For more information about the Farmers Market, contact Garcia by email at [email protected] The Manistee Farmers Market Facebook page can be accessed online at

James V. Payne