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PITMASTER ED MITCHELL | Apr 28

NEW FARMERS MARKET AT CITY PLAZA KICKS OFF ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 28
FEATURING PIG PICKIN’
WITH RENOWNED PIT MASTER ED MITCHELL

Ed Mitchell

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is pleased to announce that the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market season will kick off with a Pig Pickin’ event on Wednesday, April 28 from 10 am-2pm.   The event will feature festivities that showcase eastern North Carolina’s culture, cuisine, and agriculture.  Enjoy authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked barbeque prepared by legendary Chef Ed Mitchell and fellow staffers from The Pit, learn barbeque secrets during Pitmaster Mitchell’s chef demonstration, listen to bluegrass music by Old Habits, and bring your kids for a family-friendly gardening activity.  The market opens at 10 am but the official inauguration will begin at 11:15 am when Mayor Meeker rings the market’s opening bell—the farmers markets’ version of a ribbon cutting.

The Pit’s barbeque sandwiches, prepared with pork from market vendor, Poplar Creek Farm, will be available for $5.  These sandwiches, and all of the pork used at the Pit, are made from free-range, hormone-free pigs that meet the rigorous standards of Animal Welfare Institute, which promotes humane animal treatment.

Market partner, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), is helping to make the 2010 farmers market season possible and shares the market’s philosophy of encouraging healthy lifestyles.  BCBSNC has partnered with Be Active North Carolina to offer market goers reusable shopping bags, provide education on the five components of physical fitness for adults, and offer free activities such as hula hooping, jumping rope, and skillastics (fitness game) on opening day.   Be Active North Carolina will also provide information on their Movement for Motion program and will feature a raffle drawing for prizes.

Advocates for Health in Action (AHA) will allow kids to dig in the dirt as they participate in activities to teach them the importance of where their food comes from.  AHA is a diverse group of organizations and community members working together so that healthful eating and physical activity is the way of life in Wake County.

While at the market, shoppers can embrace green initiatives by signing up for the SmartCommute Challenge, a program aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.  The SmartCommute Challenge is an annual spring campaign coordinated by GoTriangle and SmartCommute@rtp. The goal of the campaign is to encourage Triangle commuters to try an alternative commute (not driving alone) to work or campus such as riding the bus, carpooling, vanpooling, teleworking, biking, walking, or riding an electric scooter or Segway.  While at the SmartCommute booth, customers can try riding a foldable bicycle from Melon Bicycles.

The new market is a reinvention of its predecessor, the Moore Square Farmers Market.  Its relocation to City Plaza on Fayetteville Street places the market in the heart of downtown activity.  In addition to the new location, the market has a new name, new look, and new website, RaleighEatLocal.com.   The market will feature the highest quality farmers and food artisans, and the 2010 season will feature food festivals, chef demonstrations, tastings, and weekly entertainment.   Farmers’ market veteran, Hallie Mittleman, will oversee the direction and management of the market.  Mittleman has over eight years experience managing and founding urban farmers markets, including the award winning Portland Farmers Market in Oregon.   She says, “This season’s lineup of vendors offers a wide array of fantastic farm fresh products.  We look forward to the community’s support.”

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market, a program of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), strives to be a guiding force in shaping the environmental, social and financial health of downtown by bringing the highest quality local growers and food artisans together to the Raleigh Community.  The farmers market contributes to the sustainability and success of downtown by serving as a community gathering place, a vehicle for a regional economy, and a center for fresh, local, and healthy food.

Shop at the Market for farm fresh fruits and vegetables, pork, beef, poultry, seafood, cheeses, jams and jellies, eggs, baked goods, plant starts, flowers, and more! Find a bounty of fresh, sustainably-grown produce and artisan food each Wednesday from April 28 through October 27 from 10 am-2 pm.  Connect with your community farmers and choose local—it’s the healthiest and most nutritious way to eat.  For more information, visit RaleighEatLocal.com.

Special Thanks to: The market is a program produced by the Downtown Raleigh Alliance and is made possible by the generous support of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.  The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market would also like to thank Curtis Media as their media sponsor and The Pit and Chef Ed Mitchell.

About the Downtown Raleigh Alliance: The Alliance serves as an independent contractor for the City of Raleigh to supplement city services in the downtown district. Our vision is to be recognized as the leader and champion for a vibrant and dynamic downtown. The Alliance is a guiding force in shaping a healthy center that anchors the city and region. Our mission is to effectively and efficiently deliver five core services. Through our dedicated board and staff, we are responsible for providing the following services: Advocacy and Member Support, Clean and Safe Ambassadors, Economic Development, Marketing and Events, and Public Space Management.

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