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Children enjoy balloon animals in the grassy area surrounding the market

If ever there was a diverse public market, Marin Farmers Market takes the cake.  Located in Oakland – Grand Lake, the market is a truly diverse mix of fresh food vendors, hot ethnic foods, live music and a shallow fountain that children are encouraged to play in.  A small cluster of dining tables is always full, and strangers often sit together.  In fact, during a brief lunch I shared my 4-seat table with a rotating crowd of two different strangers and five acquaintances. A middle school jazz band set up near the fountain, while a band of collegiates played brass instruments on the other side of the market.

playing in the fountain

At the market, children are encouraged to touch the water

Despite being immediately adjacent to an elevated freeway, the market’s activity almost completely disguises the din and the noise.

Young, old, native, immigrant, this market hosts them all.

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