The Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market invites you to visit with us. We are located at 17th and Chew Streets in the Allentown Fairgrounds, Allentown, PA. With over 65 merchants, we are sure you will find everything you need in one quick stop. Meats, poultry, produce, deli, baked goods, gourmet shops, seafood, candy, snacks, flowers, restaurants, and much more at prices you won't believe! Bring the whole family for a great time and enjoy the feeling of a true farmers market.
Farmers markets have long been part of the American urban landscape. In scenes of bustling activity, country meets city as farmers, butchers, and bakers sell their wares to rural and urban customers. In Allentown, the farmer's market tradition goes back to the early part of the century, when the "Morning Market" opened at the corner of 8th and Gordon Streets. Here, local farmers from around the Lehigh Valley sold their products together. In those days, there were few large grocery stores in the area, so people came from throughout the Valley to buy their fruits, vegetables, eggs, chicken, pork, and beef. The Market was open only once a week - on Saturday mornings.

Several decades later, the Morning Market merged with the larger Allentown Fairground Farmers Market, located at the county fairgrounds, which had been owned since 1889 by the Lehigh County Agricultural Society. The bigger market, housed in the brick exhibition hall built on the fairgrounds in 1911, brought together merchants and farmers to sell their wares, from produce to meat, tools, clothing and gardening supplies. Rather than a once a week affair that lasted for only part of the year, the Allentown Fairground Farmers Market was open every Friday and Saturday, year round. Later, the schedule was expanded to its present form, which includes Thursdays.

The founders of the Fairground Farmers Market, John Devlin and Willard Kistler, who were local businessmen, and John Wetzel, a farmer, envisioned the market as a place where shoppers could buy all they needed under one roof. They leased concessions in the old building to local growers and merchants, some of whose businesses are still operating in the market at the end of the century.

In 1958, the "new wing" was added at the western end of the Farmers Market. Connected to the original structure by an inclined ramp, the addition brought the size of the market to 90,000 square feet, making it one of the largest markets in the northeast. Today, the Fairground Farmers Market is one of the biggest attractions of the Lehigh Valley. Under the direction of Dan Wuchter, Sr., the old traditions are maintained in a colorful, inviting atmosphere. A business success and regional landmark, the market has even drawn the attention of corporate grocery dealers hoping to capture some of its appeal in chain supermarkets.

But nothing can duplicate the charm of this old market--or the lively social energy and sense of humor that thrive there. In an advertisement that ran in the Allentown Morning Call in the 1960's, the managers declared what is still true of the place: "We're so old-fashioned we're the most modern market in the East!"

There are no gimmicks, no pretenses about the old fashioned style of the market. On Saturday mornings, you can still hear country people speaking Pennsylvania Dutch. But while the style is old, the products themselves are the freshest and of the highest quality in the region.

More than sixty stands and concessions offer a huge variety of foods ranging from the familiar to the exotic: Amish pies and pastries, baked on the premises by Amish vendors, cheeses from everywhere on the planet, meats sold by local livestock growers, produce from lettuce to passion fruit and French olives, fresh baking chickens and turkey chorizo, lamb chops, even emu and buffalo meat--all of the finest quality, and at good prices.

The market is also a place where people go to eat. Stands selling Chinese and Mediterranean food, pizza, seafood, and some of the best barbecued chicken anywhere provide chairs and table so you can consume their tempting wares on the spot. Ready made salads, sauces, baked beans, beef, and chicken dishes can be bought hot or cold; and desserts range from elegant black forest cherry cake and fruit tarts to local shoo-fly pie. Home made chocolate candies and pretzels, hand-made on the premises, as well as pickles, nuts, dried fruits, and home-made potato chips are just a few of the many imported and very local snacks for sale.

Perhaps the most appealing thing about the Allentown Fairground Farmers Market is the atmosphere. Sometimes it's busy and noisy, and at certain hours it's quiet, but it's always a great deal of fun. The vendors are genuinely friendly, and buyers somehow aren't made to feel they're competing with each other for a place in line or the seller's attention. It's like a country fair every weekend--an informal but well-run operation where you can not only stock your pantry but have a very good time, at "the most modern old fashioned scene in the East."

Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market
17th & Chew Streets, Allentown, PA 18104
(610) 432-8425


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