Davis Farmers Market’s Picnic in the Park to return in May – Daily Democrat

People walk through Central Park Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021 during a Davis Farmers Market. The market recently announced its Picnic in the Park event will return in mid-May and continue through mid-September. (Gerardo Zavala/Daily Democrat)

The Davis Picnic in the Park will return to the Wednesday farmers markets starting May 17 at Central Park.

“The community missed its lazy Wednesday evenings in Central Park — the music, food and family fun,” the farmers market’s press release stated. “The Davis Farmers Market listened and found a way to bring back its beloved picnic in the park.”

The weekly 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. event will continue through Sept. 13 at the park located on 5th and B Streets in Davis and will feature a local band, children’s entertainment, food vendors and an opportunity to gather as a community.

“Late September through early May, Wednesdays swap back to a traditional farmers market open 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.,” the release explained.

Randii MacNear, executive director of the Davis Farmers Market Alliance, stated he’s thrilled to show the redesigned layout of the event that will make it more manageable.

“I’m so happy because I really feel like we broke people’s hearts,” he stressed. “There was no solution except to try to bring it back — if we could find a way.”

The new layout will feature food tracks in the patio area, bands on top of the stairs facing the lawn and patrons who will be encouraged to bring their own chairs and blankets for picnicking.

However, the release noted that tables and chairs will no longer be provided.

The market will have an open-container permit during operating hours allowing patrons to consume alcohol on the grassy area, “whether it’s a bottle of wine from Heringer Estates or a beer they bought from a downtown brewery or from home.”

“It’s going to be a little bit more low-key than it was, but everything it was,” MacNear added.

The release noted that after the festival portion of the Wednesday market was discontinued due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Davis Downtown Business Association started planning a summer concert series called Thursdays in the Davisphere, which debuted in May and ran through October.

The Thursday night event highlighted local businesses, musicians, artists and the community that helped keep them afloat throughout the pandemic.

Nat Lefkoff, a local musician and lead singer for his self-named band, performed during an Oct. 6 Thursday in Davis event. He grew up in Davis and returned to pursue music full-time after moving away for college in 2012.

“After making the choice to do this full time and put music first, live events are just what electrified me to write more songs and to get up on stage and emote passion in a genuine way,” Lefkoff emphasized. “There’s no comparison when a group of people is picking up what you’re putting down and you just want to keep putting it down.”

The release noted that although the change was successful and allowed the Wednesday market to focus on its roots, Thursday concerts were “not a replacement for Picnic in the Park.”

Therefore, the 2023 season for Davisphere will be monthly rather than weekly.

“While the change simplified the market and allowed it to focus on its roots, the family and community-gathering tradition was missing,” the release highlighted. “Thursday concerts were highly successful but not a replacement for Picnic in the Park. The 2023 season for Davisphere will be monthly rather than weekly.”

To learn more about the Davis Farmers Market, visit davisfarmersmarket.org.

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