Written by: Executive Director Dominic Tartaglia
May is here and it is going to be a busy month for us Downtown. The month kicks off with Art After Dark the first night of May to set the pace for a big run of events in the coming weeks. Downtown is looking forward to our signature events including Mother’s Day Flower Giveaway, Law Enforcement Night, Public Works Night and our beloved Downtown Brown’s Birthday! We are also excited to be rolling out with our Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics section of Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market, STEAM Alley on Garden Street. Another new addition to the market is the continuation of our Fresh Picked Concert Series on our Harvest Stage at the East end of the market. Don’t forget that this year on May 16 there will be the second annual SLO Jazz Festival in Mission Plaza just one weekend before Memorial Day weekend.
Like I mentioned, it will be a big month for Downtown events and we are excited to be bringing the community a lot of options and diversity for things to do here, at home, without needing to travel far to have a good time with your family and friends. Our signature events are all centered on our world famous Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market and in case it is not apparent we are bringing a lot of diversity with each of those events. Mother’s Day Flower Giveaway is for the moms and Law Enforcement Night is for the kids while Public Works Night is all about public infrastructure and Downtown Brown’s Birthday Party is just for fun. With a community that is filled with so many different types of residents and guests we strive to appeal to all of your tastes for a good time.
Speaking of tastes, May is certain to tickle your taste buds with a variety of great produce of all different colors, shapes and sizes and not to mention the large selection of different local restaurants selling mouth watering food on the street. Often times people ask me what sets our market apart from all other markets and for me that answer is simple. We have diversity across the board. We offer diverse prepared food selections from many different cultures from across the world as well as a wide variety of deserts and goodies like éclairs and cookies and to top it off we ensure that there is always a solid selection of in-season produce. We are proud to say that we not only offer a special farmers’ market but we also create an event around it that incorporates fresh produce into a lifestyle. In my family we always talk about the concept that food is love and that every meal should start from fresh ingredients and be enjoyed with good company; that is exactly what I see when I look at our market each week. Fresh local flavors, meals prepared with love and lots of happy people enjoying one another’s company.
Another element that we try to incorporate Downtown on a consistent basis is free entertainment. Arts Obispo helps as each month fires off with Art After Dark and the opportunity for people to visit over 30 different locations with as many different artists’ work on display. Having that kind of participation with the local arts community is a real asset to our Downtown and even spreads into daily stroll through our main streets. There are many installments of local art on the streets, on walls and hidden along our creek that speak to the desire of our community to have a colorful culture. To that point we try to do our part by adding live music to our events, whether it be at our holiday events, our Concerts in the Plaza Series during the summer, our Farmers’ Market side streets or our brand new Fresh Picked Concert Series at Farmers’. All of those events provide free music for crowds of all ages and tastes and we ensure that our artists are local so that if you hear them live once, you can hear them again and again if you so choose. The Fresh Picked Concert Series is a new addition to our musical lineup as a desire to expand the musical offerings to the East end of our market and has come out of a special relationship with a great friend of the Downtown, The San Luis Obispo Collection. In our discussion with their representative we found a great opportunity to bring the community a concert series that completely embodies our market ethic, “Discover. Local. Flavor.” The bands that we are featuring on the Harvest Stage at Union Bank are bands that you may or may not have already discovered but they are local and let me tell you, every one of them has flavor. If you don’t believe me, I encourage you to come down to our next concert on May 7 and take a listen to Ragged Jubilee and their “garage blues” sound. I’m sure you’re going to like them as much as we do!
So the next time that you have guests in town and you tell them about the Downtown SLO Farmers’ Market and they ask you why it’s so special, you can just smile and tell them, “Diversity. Let’s go take a look and taste the difference.” I look forward to bringing you all more diversity in the coming months and years but this month we’ll just start with our interactive STEAM Alley and some fun booths for kids and adults, that still want to be kids, to discover and learn through interactive play. Come visit our new section on Garden Street on Thursday nights and see for yourself, we are all about giving you the chance to discover local flavor.