Downtown Fullerton Market brings the community together through local entertainment, food and art on a budget

In Arts & Entertainment, Food, Lifestyle
(Courtesy of Gretchen Davey)

Nestled in the heart of downtown, the Fullerton Market is a weekly night event that features live music, local crafts and over a dozen food booths. Admission and parking are both free, making this an event fit for any budget. Food prices range from $5 to $15, with fish and chips, pizza, grits and BBQ as just some of your options. And don’t forget the dessert: baked goods, popcorn and Hawaiian shaved ice which can be found throughout the market.

The market officially opens every Thursday at 4 p.m., but the majority of food and craft vendors are still setting up at that time. They move leisurely, taking advantage of the relaxed atmosphere many of as the patrons do. The air begins to buzz with chatter around sundown as more and more arrive.

Locals from all over Orange County flock to Downtown Fullerton every Thursday to support community businesses and peruse the seemingly endless supply of fresh fruits and vegetables. Multiple vendors line the street, their stands filled to the brim with the star of the show: locally grown produce.

Yorba Linda resident Sarah Pontius came to the market to look for vegetables and to explore what the other vendors had to offer. She, like many others, spends her Thursday nights at the Fullerton farmers market to stock up on fresh veggies and browse the unique crafts.

“I love the variety of goods. It’s also very close to my house, so it’s really nice to come after work and just see all the local businesses,” Pontius said.

Local artists exhibiting their work is an integral part of the Fullerton farmers market, with many handmade clothing and accessory booths scattered throughout the plaza. Anaheim resident Linda Chaidez is often recognized for her handcrafted jewelry and long tenure as a farmers market regular.

“A friend of mine told me about it 12 years ago, and I decided to try it out. And I’m still here,” Chaidez said.

There’s plenty of entertainment for families, too. The designated kids’ area includes activities like face painting and a bounce house. Across from the kids’ area, you can visit Fullerton Museum, play in a giant water fountain or browse more shops. For adults, next to the museum you’ll find the Beer and Wine Garden, a small cash-only bar. There’s beer on tap, multiple wines to choose from and a nice patio view of the Fullerton Plaza.

The Downtown Plaza is located within the market promenade and hosts live music. A different band takes the stage every evening, with music varieties like classic rock, ‘80s throwback and blues. All in all, the Fullerton market is small but jam-packed with food, drinks and family-friendly activities.

The market has also been recently modernized. Aside from the Beer and Wine Garden, the majority of the vendors now accept all major debit and credit cards. At the produce stands, signs on chalkboard read “Follow us on Instagram!” Now, you can connect on social media with your local farmers and follow their growth.

The Fullerton market is located on Wilshire Avenue, between Harbor Boulevard and Pomona Avenue. It’s open every Thursday from 4 to 8:30 p.m. until Nov 2. Parking can be found on Wilshire Avenue and in the structure on Harbor Boulevard.

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