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Weekly summer farmers market coming to downtown Lansing

 An image of the vendor stalls in Reutter Park.
Arjun Thakkar
Reutter Park includes 10 vendor stalls to host the downtown farmers market.

A new weekly farmers market is coming to downtown Lansing starting Tuesday.

Vendors will be selling fresh fruits and vegetables, slushies, dog treats, beauty products and other locally-produced goods on Tuesday evenings at the stalls in Reutter Park.

Jazmin Anderson is with Downtown Lansing Inc., which is hosting the market. She says the organization has been looking for ways to generate more foot traffic by the park. The group installed the 10 vendor stalls last year and began hosting seasonal events, including a holiday market last November and a Winterfest celebration.

Anderson says community members are eager to have another attraction to visit in the city center.

“People are really excited to have something additional to do in the downtown district and be able to have access to fresh produce and other food items,” she said.

Some days, the market will feature special activities and events, like yoga and live music.

Anderson adds Downtown Lansing Inc. decided to run the market on Tuesday evenings to avoid a time conflict with other mid-Michigan markets. She hopes its location and hours of operation will make it accessible to employees who work downtown.

“We want to make sure that the professionals that are downtown and the business owners are able to attend," Anderson said. "Maybe they take a late lunch or they stop by after they get out of work for the day.”

Some housing advocates have criticized the decision to have these stalls and community events located in Reutter Park, one of the parks most used by people experiencing homelessness in the city. One advocate said last year it was "in bad taste" to put heated sheds out when homeless community members were struggling in cold winter conditions.

Anderson acknowledged those concerns and said Downtown Lansing Inc. is continuing to speak with the city and other groups to learn how it can support the unhoused.

The market will run from 3-7 p.m. every Tuesday until the end of September.

Arjun Thakkar is WKAR's politics and civics reporter.
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