By Kim Clark
LuckyBird Studio (one of the Rhody Girls)
The Providence Open Market, little sister of the Boston and Mashpee Open Markets, is about to begin its second year in downtown Providence. This year several exciting changes have been made in the hopes that the market will be even more successful and become a permanent downtown fixture.
This being the Ocean State, we tend to clear out for the hotter months; therefore, this year the market has been divided into two seasons. Spring season will run for all of June, followed by a break during July and August, and the market will rev up again in the fall for September and October. This year’s market will take place right smack on Westminster Street–which will be closed to traffic–and in the lot next to Tazza CafÃ©. Yet another change is that the new on-site managers for the market will be the Providence-based Rhody Girls Art Club.
The Rhody Girls Art Club is an eclectic group of artists and crafters who banded together in 2008 to support one another as they grow their independent businesses. They share information, resources, bright ideas, motivation, bad humor, coffee, and cupcakes. They jumped at the opportunity to manage the Open Market because they think it’s a fine and fabulous thing, and as local artists, they have a vested interest in making it a success.
The Rhody Girls view themselves as market hostesses rather than managers. They want to ensure that everything runs smoothly and that the market is a most excellent experience for shoppers and vendors alike. Down the road, the group sees itself running local shows to benefit local causes and local artists, as well as growing the Rhody Girls’ individual businesses.
So come on out to beautiful, revitalized downtown Providence. Stroll, mingle, have a frozen lemonade, see the fine work of local artisans, stock up on farm-fresh produce, and take a minute to say hi to the Rhody Girls (LuckyBird StudioKiddo Mio, Fruitcake Designs, Ursula & Olive, Blacksheep Designs, Dollface Designs, and Colorshoppe Glass Studio).
Providence Open Market — Westminster Street, between Eddy and Clemence Street, Downtown Providence
Spring Market: Open every Saturday in June, 12pm to 6pm.
Fall Market: Open every Saturday from September 6 through October 25, 12pm to 5pm.
ATM located nearby at the Providence Postal Federal Credit Union, a few blocks from the Market at 380 Westminster Street, and at the 7-Eleven (two blocks away on Weybosset Street).
Food: Downtown Providence is home to several cafes, restaurants, sandwich shops, and pizzerias. Check out Tazza on Westminster, Taqueria Pacifica on Empire Street, and Cilantro on Weybosset Street.