Celebrating the Fall Harvest at Farmers Market October 9, 2017 BACK TO MARKET BUZZ

Every year, The Original Farmers Market celebrates the fall harvest with the family-friendly Farmers Market Fall Festival, a free gathering that includes crafts, artisan demonstrations, live music and a lively petting zoo.

While celebrating the harvest may seem out of place in a city as populous as Los Angeles, there was a time when rolling farmlands were the primary attraction in Los Angeles County.

In fact, according to A.F. Gilmore Company archivist Brett Arena, “L.A. County was the largest cash-producing agricultural county in the nation until after World War II.”

While farm fresh produce was readily available throughout Los Angeles, the unstable financial economy of the early 1930s made it difficult for consumers to connect with farmers. What better time to develop a singular gathering place where people could buy directly from farmers and other merchants?

It was this very idea that prompted the development of The Original Farmers Market, Los Angeles in 1934. The Market was an immediate success, so much so that the vendors almost immediately began asking for permanent stalls and structures from which to sell their wares.

Just a few months after its July 1934 opening of Farmers Market, its founders rolled out plans for a Fall Festival as a way to celebrate the fall harvest. In the festival’s earliest days, merchants would create “floats,” which they would parade through the Market to promote their business. While the parade no longer exists, most merchants still dress up in costumes and decorate their stalls.

Farmers Market Fall Festival


Now in its 83rd year, and one of the longest-running events in Los Angeles, this year’s Fall Festival will unfold October 14-15, 2017. Featuring artisan crafts, facepainting, a pumpkin patch and games, All Alaskan Racing Pigs, a petting zoo, a beloved pie-eating contest starring Du-Par’s pies, and musical performances.

Petting Zoo, Pig Races and Pumpkin Games on Gilmore Lane

From 11 am to 7 pm, walk through our petting zoo, where kids can interact with a number of friendly farm animals. And get ready for high thrills as the All Alaskan Racing Pigs compete for fastest in all the land at noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 5:45 pm daily.  At 1 pm, 3 pm and 5 pm, kids can test their mettle in the Pedal Puller Races by All Alaskan. 

This year's event will have a new added element of fall festiveness with a pumpkin patch for all your jack-o-lantern and gourd decorating needs. The pumpkin patch will also be equipped with games such as pumpkin bowling and corn hole. 

Pie-Eating Contest

Guests won’t want to miss our festival-favorite pie-eating contests. Whether you watch from the crowds or are brave enough to compete in this "no-hands" contest, this is an all new way to experience Du-par’s famed pies. Bring your cameras and smartphones, you’ll surely want to Instagram or Snapchat this moment. Pie-eating contests take place at 3 pm each day. Look for Brian, our strolling scarecrow and pie-eating contest mascot, to sign yourself up!

Beer Garden

This year, for the 21 and over set, there will be a beer garden on the Plaza for festive libations to enjoy with musical entertainment. 

Musical Line-up

Every year, Fall Festival showcases great country and western, swing, bluegrass, and banjo music throughout the weekend. This year’s musical lineup includes:

Saturday, Oct. 15

11 am-1 pm, East Patio
San Fernando Valley Banjo Band

12:00 pm & 1:30 pm, Plaza
Earthworm Ensemble

2:30-4:30 pm, East Patio
The Deltaz

3:30-5 pm, West Patio
Pete Anderson

4:30-6:30 pm, Plaza
The Wrecking Crew's Farewell to Glen Campbell

6-8 pm, West Patio
Deke Dickerson & the Ecco-Fonics

Sunday, Oct. 16

11am-1 pm, East Patio
Jazz N’ Banjos

12-2 pm, Plaza
Cow Bop

2:30-4:30 pm, East Patio
Silver Mountain String Band

2-4 pm, West Patio
Merle Jagger

4:30-6:30 pm, Plaza
Doo-Wah Riders

5-7 pm, West Patio
The Lucky Stars