8th and Oak Streets
Submitted by: Bill Goldsmith
A weekly outdoor handcrafted marketplace, Saturday Market is the "quintessential Eugene experience."
Saturday Market is the quintessential Eugene experience. Born out of the 1960's counter-culture and constantly adapted by a vibrant vendor-owned organization, this Market has operated every Saturday from April through November for the past 32 years. Over 200 vendors weekly set up their booths on two square blocks of Municipal Park in the city center. The Market features 25 food booths, a continuous performance stage, and co-locates with its sister market, the Lane County Farmers Market.
What Makes Saturday Market a Great Place?
Located in the city center, the Market forms a graphic palette of sights, sounds and smells and acts as the central meeting place for the citizens of Eugene. It connects historically and physically to the town's original Hitching Post Square where urban and rural gathered in the late 1800ís to trade and mingle. Valet bike parking is available and it is close to the city's transport hub. Car traffic circulates through the site but the streets are narrowed and controlled on Market days. During the week, the park is a clean and modestly utilized urban park, but the Saturday transformation is indelible.
The energy of contrasts permeates the site and a palpable energy can usually be felt when first stepping into the area. The entire range of Eugene's populace uses the place as a gathering spot and the diversity is notable. The park is well maintained, in part from funds provided by the Market. It is clean and safe. The Market employs its own clean-up and maintenance staff and contracts with a culturally appropriate security staff.
The Market holds 34 market days annually on the site. The site is also a focal point for other community celebrations throughout the year including Eugene Celebration and First Night.
This is THE place to meet friends, THE place to bring visitors. This is the place where people rub shoulders with people who they would go blocks out of their way to avoid under less liminal circumstances.
History & Background
A detailed history can be found at www.eugenesaturdaymarket.org/smhist.html
Beth Little, Market Manager: 541-686-8885