West Ashley gets city-sponsored farmers market on Wednesdays

Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg announced a West Ashley Farmers Market on Monday. Here he is all thumbs up after announcing Whole Foods Market will build a second Charleston-area grocery store in West Ashley.

West Ashley is getting a farmers market at Ackerman Park that will offer fresh, local produce and a gathering place to socialize with neighbors, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg said Monday.

The city also hopes the market will spur revitalization of the area, he said.

The farmers market will be Wednesdays from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 14 to Oct. 26.

“We believe it’s going to be successful and an ongoing community treasure and asset for West Ashley and the city of Charleston,” Tecklenburg said.

The city Office of Cultural Affairs and the Parks Department will produce the event offering seasonal produce, foods prepared from local produce, live entertainment and family-friendly activities. Some 36 vendor tents will fill the park, officials said.

Tecklenburg announced plans for the farmers market under the shade of a big oak tree at the park. About 25 people were present including City Councilmen Dean Riegel, Peter Shahid and Marvin Wagner.

The city earlier surveyed 2,800 residents and studied 22 sites as possible locations for the West Ashley Farmers Market. Ackerman Park on Sycamore Avenue was selected because it is popular, easily accessible and city-owned, officials said.

It’s been more than 20 years since the successful Charleston Farmers Market began at Marion Square, Tecklenburg noted.

“That was a time when upper and even middle King Street needed revitalization and needed a shot in the arm. And that’s exactly what this farmers market is going to do in our revitalization efforts West Ashley,” he said.

South Carolina has more than 100 community-based markets that sell locally grown produce. There are seasonal farmers markets for Charleston and Johns Island on Saturdays, James Island on Sundays, Mount Pleasant on Tuesdays and Folly Beach on Wednesdays. Awendaw has a farmers market on the second Saturday of the month. The North Charleston/Hanahan market is on Thursdays and the Goose Creek and Summerville markets are on Saturdays. Cross has a farmers market on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. In Moncks Corner, Saturday is farmers market day, according to the state Department of Agriculture website. The state owns and manages three regional farmers markets in Columbia, Florence and Greenville.