Of Farmers’ Markets & Folk Music Festivalsby Jim Gressinger on May. 07, 2012, under Fairs & Festivals, Performing Arts, Southern Arizona Attractions, Things To Do In Tucson, Things To Do With The Kidz
Had a particularly full weekend. Visited two farmer’s markets and attended one folk music festival. I was motivated for two reasons. One, just for the fun of it. Second, while my website Southern Arizona Guide is a content-rich resource for visitors and locals alike, I have nothing on farmers’ markets, and little on festivals. I needed to correct that omission.
The farmers’ market at Maynard’s downtown is Saturday mornings. On Sundays, they are at St. Philip’s Plaza, River & Campbell. Perhaps next weekend I’ll check out the ones at Jesse Owens Park (Saturdays – Broadway & Sarnoff) and Oro Valley (Fridays – La Canada & Naranja). Check out the Tucson Farmers’ Market website.
The Saturday morning farmers’ market at Maynard’s is still a work in progress, but had some farm-fresh produce, hand-crafted soaps, specialty goat cheeses, and a variety of eats, including hot breakfast tamales from the Tucson Tamale Company (yummy – try the Denver) and fresh-baked breads and Danish courtesy of the ladies at Frogs Organic Bakery (delish).
Here I met Rachael who has Sweetie Pies: vegan, gluton-free, and raw desserts including ice cream sandwiches. I know “healthy desserts” sounds like an oxymoron, but these were really good. You should try some.
Come Sunday AM it was off to St. Philip’s Plaza for one of our biggest farmers’ markets. The place was very active and visitors seemed most eager to purchase, not only fresh produce, but a host of other hand-crafted, homemade items, such as jams, jellies, and spices.
There were many food vendors, most notably Anna’s Kitchen featuring Anna’s famous frozen casseroles. All you have to do is pop ‘em in the oven. Even I can do that.
Anna also makes Quiche Lorraine, Chicken Florentine, and chicken pot pies, as well as egg rolls and specialty breads.
I like her slogan:
“We Cook So You Don’t Have To.”
In the afternoon, we attended the 27th Annual Folk Festival in the downtown area surrounding Tucson Museum of Art. It is produced by the Tucson Kitchen Musicians Association and featured over a hundred performing groups on no less than 5 main stages. I particularly enjoyed the rolicking, foot-stomping Russian music of the Arizona Balalaika Orchestra. What fun!
And then they played what, to American ears, has to be the most familiar of all Russian music, Lara’s Theme from Doctor Zhivago. Hadn’t heard that in nearly 50 years. Magnificent! Written by a Frenchman for a movie produced by a Jew, and starring an Egyptian. But it sounds so Russian.
In addition to numerous fiddlers, banjo pickers and balladeers, there was this one group that is real hard to categorize. JeeZ LaWeeZ is a wild all-girl trio one might describe as zany, original, and funny while displaying the fact that they are all accomplished musicians and excellent vocalists. Pitch-perfect harmony. What fun they were. I looked at their website to see when they might be returning to Tucson. Apparently not soon. Sad.