Frequently Asked Questions
- When and Where is Saturday Market?
The Market is open every Saturday, rain or shine, from the first Saturday in April through mid-November on the Park Blocks at 8th & Oak in downtown Eugene. The hours are 10 AM to 5 PM. On the weekend before Thanksgiving the Market opens its Holiday Market which runs weekends through Christmas Eve at the Lane County Fairgrounds.
- Can I bring my dog, cat, ferret, parrot, snake, or other pet?
No, due to a City Ordinance, no pets are allowed on the Park Blocks. The County Health Department also requires that no pets be present in the Food Court area. It is also not allowed to sell or give away animals at the Market. Service animals, such as seeing-eye dogs, are allowed.
- What is the history of Saturday Market?
The first Saturday Market was held on May 9, 1970. It rained, and there were 29 vendors. The Market now has over 800 active members and nearly 300 of these members sell each week, rain or shine. The founder of Saturday Market is Lotte Streisinger, who is still an active member of the Eugene arts community. She brought the vision of a Saturday marketplace to Eugene from market plazas she saw in Central America coupled with childhood memories of European markets. The first Saturday Market was held in the alley next to the Oak Street Overpark. After a short one summer stand on the plaza in front of the County Courthouse, the Market was moved to the "Butterfly" parking structure across from the courthouse. Saturday Market moved to its present site on the Park Blocks in April, 1983. For the detailed story, click here and read founder Lotte Streisinger's telling of the events. You can see some photos of the Market in the good old days here on our Flickr stream.
- How and what can I sell, and how much does it cost?
Handcrafters are welcomed into the Saturday Market without a jury approving their work, though products are "screened" in advance to ensure they fit our handcrafting guidelines. The prime guideline for selling at Market is that all products must be sold by the person who made them or a member of his or her family. The Saturday Market Standards Committee enforces product standards related to uniqueness, originality and craft processes. The Member Handbook and the Craft Specific Guidelines contain all the information you need. The Member's section of this site has pages full of helpful information, especially the "Selling at Market" page. At the first Saturday Market, each vendor was charged one dollar. Today vendors pay an annual membership fee of $50.00 and $10.00 plus 10% of their sales for their weekly 8' x 8' booth space, quite reasonable rent for a weekly store front.
- Can I start my own Saturday Market?
Eugene's Saturday Market is the original Saturday Market. The name "Saturday Market" is used by other similar markets around the state of Oregon with the permssion of the Saturday Market Board of Directors. To gain permission, Markets must adhere to "the Maker is the Seller" basic guideline. There are currently other independent Saturday Markets operating in Portland, Bend, Hood River and Ashland. Other communities are in planning stages for Saturday Markets. Some basic information about how this Market is organized is available through the Market office.
- What about the Lane County Farmers' Market?
Lane County Farmers' Market takes place each Saturday across the street from the Park Blocks, and also on Tuesdays from May through October. The Farmers' Market is an independent organization and Saturday Market's sister market. First set up under the auspices of Saturday Market in 1979, Farmers' Market became independent in 1989. Their website is here, www.lanecountyfarmersmarket.org, or call (541) 431-4923 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- How is the Market organized?
Saturday Market is a Oregon non-profit organization whose mission is to provide a low cost marketplace for local handcrafters and artisans and a weekly celebration for the Eugene community. There is a full time staff of three and there are seven additional Saturday assistants. The Market manager is Beth Little. The Market's annual operating budget is nearly $450,000 and over $2.5 million of local handcrafts and food items are sold during Market events annually. The Market's operating budget comes solely from its members, receiving no municipal, state, federal or grant funding. Saturday Market is governed by a nine member Board of Directors, both Market members and members of the community. The current Board chairperson is Colleen Bauman.
- Besides handcrafted goods, what's available at Market?
There are sixteen food booths in the International Food Court offering a wide variety of foods made fresh on-site. Culinary traditions of Afghanistan, Thailand, India, France, Mexico, Japan, Great Britain and Italy are represented along with several all-American favorites. Food booths must meet rigid Market guidelines regarding originality and uniqueness. They are also subject to additional Health Department regulations and licensing and are inspected weekly by county sanitarians. The food court is a non-smoking area. Saturday Market is a major supporter of local performing artists. Continuous performances take place weekly on the Market Stage. Including Holiday Market, over one thousand performers appear on the Market Stages each year. In addition, the marketplace has room for all types of strolling entertainers. For information about performing, contact Kim Still. The Wayne Morse Free Speech Plaza is home to non-profit organizations who wish to inform the public on a variety of current political and social issues that concern the citizens of Eugene. There is plenty of free parking near the Market's site in the two city overpark buildings.