Markets and Placemaking

As I sit here, at home, waiting for Hurricane Dorian to visit Central Florida... I'm thinking of all the cool things happening this month in our community, including the Leesburg Night Market. I'm a sucker for markets, really any market...flea, antique, farmers and art markets. I love to stroll the aisles and hunt for something handmade, homemade, delicious and vibrant. Sometimes its a bouquet of flowers and a liquor infused cookie or just hanging with my peeps, enjoying the adventure together.

Markets have always existed as a central location for purveyors to sell their products i.e. spices, food, handmade items and so much more. The phenomenon of markets in public places revived in the early 2000's as a way to revitalize city squares and historic downtowns, foster community and sustainability.

Markets are the epitome of the public placemaking movement. You might be thinking what is she talking about .... Placemaking....what is placemaking? it's the art of creating a sense of place that connects people to that place, our friends at project for public spaces describe it best "Placemaking inspires people to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces as the heart of every community. Strengthening the connection between people and the places they share, placemaking refers to a collaborative process by which we can shape our public realm in order to maximize shared value. More than just promoting better urban design, placemaking facilitates creative patterns of use, paying particular attention to the physical, cultural, and social identities that define a place and support its ongoing evolution."

As a public placemaking tool markets creates a platform for small boutique businesses to promote and sell as well as provides the local community opportunities to purchase food and products that are organic, homemade and handmade. Nestled in the center of downtown on the first Friday of the month, the Leesburg's Night Market pops up in Historic Downtown Leesburg in Townsquare. It’s a cool place, with a diverse collection of people, to find one of a kind pieces, funky jewelry, paper crafts, handmade soaps and homemade fresh pasta. Red Road Farms is there selling seasonal veggies. p.s. I LOVE the name of their family farmstand, it brings back memories of visiting high school friends who lived on the RED Road aka CR 468.

Today there are several markets in a 10 mile radius of Leesburg. The Leesburg Night Market happens on the 1st Friday of the month, "Art Friday". Opening the season this month, Friday, September 6th at 5p.m. Come out, stroll the market, explore Downtown Leesburg and support your local community of businesses. For more information about the market contact Night Market Coordinator Sarah Tremblay via email