Customers shop for fresh flowers from Pheasant Run Farm of Van Horne, Iowa, during opening day of the 2024 Downtown Farmers Market on Saturday, May 25, in Cedar Rapids. (photo/Cindy Hadish)

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — The first Downtown Farmers Market of the season kicked off under sunny skies, with mild temperatures and a break from storms that have wreaked havoc across Iowa.

Thousands of customers filled the streets of downtown Cedar Rapids on Saturday, May 25, 2024, for one of the largest outdoor farmers markets in the Midwest.

Find more than 50 Eastern Iowa markets of all sizes on the Homegrown farmers market list

A few farmers sold early season produce, including asparagus, rhubarb, radishes and onions, while long lines stretched around popular food stands and fresh flowers, plants, honey, meat, cheese, wine, maple syrup, handcrafted items and baked goods filled other stands.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, which hosts the downtown market — featuring about 200 vendors — estimates attendance at each market at 12,000 people.

A saxophone quartet representing the Cedar Rapids Municipal Band was among the entertainment in Greene Square, while other musicians performed throughout the venue, including bands from the Eastern Iowa Arts Academy.

The markets continue twice-monthly this summer, with the popular Market After Dark on Aug. 24 and one market in September.

Learn which farmers markets are making a move this year and see more photos from opening day of the 2024 Downtown Farmers Market, below: