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Central Market, About Central Market in Lancaster County Pennsylvania!

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A Different View of the Pennsylvania Dutch Country – Start at CENTRAL MARKET!

Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays present a unique opportunity to visit the Lancaster County Central Farmers’ Market at West King and Queen Street.  For hundreds of years European countries had their “market towns” where farmers would bring their produce to sell to the local people. Usually this was a once a week affair.  Early pictures of Lancaster shown farm wagons lined up along King Street where residents were buying local produce. It is believed that farmers gathered here as early as the 1730s.  In later years, shoppers were able to attend local market days at a “market house”, which is referenced as early as 1757.  A city hall was built on the site in 1795, and a new market was subsequently constructed.

Today’s Central Market is an attractive Romanesque building designed in the late 1800s by James H. Warner, known for his church architecture and buildings in Reading and Harrisburg, as well as on the Franklin and Marshall campus. The building was specifically designed as a market, and today is filled with stands exhibiting the best of Lancaster County produce. There are vendors of meats, poultry, cheese, eggs, and a myriad of vegetables, as well as local specialties like chow chow and shoofly pie. Here you can visit with plain sect farm families and farmers of the “English” or non-plain persuasion. There are also stand holders offering ethnic foods, local crafts and flowers. No trip to Lancaster can be complete without a visit to Central Market.

Within walking distance of Lancaster's Central Market are many other historic and cultural attractions. Including the Fulton Opera House and these others...

The Heritage Center Museum at 5 West King Street displays a permanent collection of Lancaster County’s art and crafts, providing an insight into life in Lancaster beginning in Colonial days.

The Lancaster Quilt and Textile Museum is close by at 39 North Market Street, and holds a wealth of original needlework from the earliest days until the present. Magnificent handmade quilts delight visitors and remind us that the early homes were not drab and dull, but filled with joyous colors.

At 204 North Prince Street, a short walk from Central Market is the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design where you can view ever changing exhibits and attend open houses and gallery receptions.

Did you know that Lancaster was home to the famous modern American artist Charles Demuth? You can find the Demuth Foundation and Museum at 120 East King Street, open Tuesday through Saturday 10 – 4 and Sunday 1-4.  Demuth lived from 1883 until 1935 and is honored by a display of selections from the permanent collection.  There are educational programs and special events. Don’t forget to visit the old Demuth Tobacco Shop!

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