The Oldest Farmers Market in the U.S.
History of Lancaster Central Market
The Lancaster Central Market is the oldest, continually operating, farmers' market in the United States. It is located in the historic downtown Lancaster, PA. The market, right beside the town square, was laid out in the original town plans in 1730. Today the market still operates in the building constructed in 1889. Some of the stands today have been run by the same family or business since the early 1900s.
It was designated Central Market because of its location near the town square in the center of Lancaster and also to differentiate it from Southern Market. Southern Market operated a few blocks south of the town square in a building erected in 1888. It closed its doors as a farmers' market in 1986. It now houses the Lancaster Visitors Center and City Council Chambers.
Video of Stands Inside the Lancaster Central Market
The Lancaster Central Market Today
Lancaster County, PA is known for its picturesque farmland and Amish community. Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, "English" and Amish farmers alike, open their stands at Central Market. Stands at the market sell fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, desserts, and souvenirs. The Lancaster Central Market consists of over sixty stands with a wide variety of products.
The Central Market in Lancaster was voted the number one place to bring someone from out of town by locals. In 1995 it was voted one of the "Great Public Places" in America. If you're visiting Lancaster County, make sure you plan a stop to see it!