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The Oldest Farmers Market in the U.S.

Updated on May 18, 2016
Inside Lancaster Central Market
Inside Lancaster Central Market

The Lancaster Central Market is the oldest, continually operating, farmers' market in the U.S. and is located in 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.

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, but now houses the Lancaster Visitors Center and City Council Chambers.

A few of the 60+ stands at Lancaster Central Market

Lancaster County, PA is known for its picturesque farmland and Amish community. Every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday, farmers, "English" and Amish alike, open their stand 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.

Lancaster Central Market built in 1889
Lancaster Central Market built in 1889

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!

- More about downtown Lancaster, PA


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    • Chad Claeyssen profile image

      Chad Claeyssen 6 years ago from Loveland, Colorado

      Thanks for the nice comment. It's definitely worth a visit if you're in the area.

    • Carlon Michelle profile image

      Carlon Michelle 6 years ago from USA

      Oooh somewhere else wonderful to visit on my next trip to PA. Thanks for writing a great article about it and showing the beautiful images in your video. Smile!

    • Chad Claeyssen profile image

      Chad Claeyssen 6 years ago from Loveland, Colorado

      Thanks. I went there on Friday and thought I'd share.

    • mljdgulley354 profile image

      mljdgulley354 6 years ago

      Chad, great hub. Outstanding information for those of us who like Farmers Markets. Thank you for sharing.