A new, free trolley service will connect downtown Cedar Rapids to the NewBo City Market when the Downtown Farmers Market season kicks off June 7, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

A new, free trolley service will connect downtown Cedar Rapids to the NewBo City Market when the Downtown Farmers Market season kicks off June 7, 2014. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS – Fans of the large-scale Downtown Farmers Market in Cedar Rapids will have an easy way to make it to the NewBo City Market, too.

Beginning at the first market June 7, a free trolley service will offer rides from downtown to the NewBo market at 1100 Third St. SE. The service will run from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on those Saturdays when the downtown markets are scheduled.

Find the dates of the downtown markets and more than 50 others here.

Daysha Lichty of the NewBo City Market said that the majority of NewBo’s outdoor market vendors sell downtown during those twice-monthly markets, but some will operate at both sites and the NewBo venue will provide space for those who don’t have a spot downtown.

The Downtown Farmers Market will have 200 vendors again this year, and will operate in a slightly different area. Due to construction on Fourth Avenue SE, vendors will shift over to Second Avenue, in addition to remaining on Third Avenue.

“Our goal is to provide an even larger downtown experience for the community that will promote local vendors and their products as well as downtown events in general,” Lichty said of the new trolley service. “One of the ways for people to see all the parts of downtown Cedar Rapids is through providing a trolley to the public.”

Here is today’s announcement about the trolley service and more info from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance about the upcoming Downtown Farmers Markets:

On May 28, 2014, NewBo City Market and the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance announced a partnership for the 2014 Farmers’ Market season. The partnership, called ‘Market to Market,’ will make it easy for guests to visit both markets on one day, further strengthening Cedar Rapids’ relationship with local farmers and producers.

Beginning June 7 and continuing on each day of the Downtown Cedar Rapids Farmers’ Market (the first and third Saturday of each month, June-September), there will be free trolley service running from downtown Cedar Rapids to NewBo City Market. The trolley will run from 9:00am-2:30pm and is being sponsored by Transamerica.

Kristie Wetjen, executive director of NewBo City Market, says the partnership will allow both organizations to better meet their goals and will help the surrounding neighborhoods grow and continue to thrive.

“Both organization’s missions heavily involve the promotion of Iowa’s farmers and food producers,” says Wetjen. “By effectively combining our efforts this summer, we hope to greatly expand local foods access for Cedar Rapids’ residents and visitors,” she says.

Jill Wilkins, event planner at the Economic Alliance, says in addition to promoting both markets, it provides great exposure for the growth along Third Street.

“We’re excited about the new amenities along Third Street, including the flower planters, pianos outside various businesses and the parklets that provide outdoor seating at some eating establishments,” she says.

NewBo City Market, which opened in October 2012, began its outdoor farmers market at the beginning of May. The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market, produced by the Cedar Rapids Economic Alliance, begins June 7. 

About the NewBo City Market Farmers Market: NewBo City Market, Iowa’s premier public market, operates a farmers market year-round and has hosted more than 400 vendors with a variety of products since October 2012.  NewBo City Market has welcomed more than 300,000 guests to its facilities since opening.

About the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market: The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market, presented by the Economic Alliance, has become one of the largest open-air markets in the Midwest, with as many as 14,000 patrons visiting each market. The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market has more than 200 local Iowa vendors offering fresh produce, a variety of baked goods, artisan gifts, meats and dairy products.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance opens the ninth season of the Downtown Farmers’ Market June 7 featuring 200 vendors in the heart of downtown Cedar Rapids.

The most noticeable change to the thousands who attend annually will be a slightly different venue. Due to construction, Fourth Avenue will not be available, so this year’s market venue will be along Second and Third Avenues. Check the on-line vendor map at www.crdowntownmarket.com for vendor locations.

Recognized as one of the largest open-air markets in the Midwest, vendors will offer traditional market products, such as produce, flowers, meats and cheeses, along with unique artisan gifts, prepared and specialty food items and baked goods.
The opening market on June 7 will feature the City of Cedar Rapids as the Presenting Day Sponsor. The City of Cedar Rapids will display city vehicles such as fire trucks and police cars around Greene Square Park, a citizenship award ceremony will take place on the Main Stage and information about city services will be available throughout the venue during the day.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market will be held on the first and third Saturdays of June through September, from 7:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. The market can be found on Second and Third Avenues SE between Second and Fifth Streets SE.

The Downtown Farmers’ Market is produced by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance as part of the organization’s Community Development core function, which focuses on growing core districts.

Special thanks to Full Season Market Sponsor, Cedar Rapids Bank and Trust, and Supporting Sponsors, Healthsource Chiropractic, Lindale Dental, ImOn Communications, Park Cedar Rapids, Principal Financial and Discover Health Chiropractic.

Media partners for the 2014 market season are: The Gazette Companies, including KCRG-Channel 9, Hoopla and We Create Here; Z102.9, 1600 ESPN, KMRY, Life 101.9, Clear Channel Communications including WMT, and Townsquare Media including KHAK.