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Happy 87th Anniversary, Original Farmers Market

The produce-iest, toffee-est, coffee-est, people-watching-est spot in LA celebrates its birthday with music and community.

Original Farmers Market

What to Know

  • Third and Fairfax
  • The Original Farmers Market opened on July 14, 1934
  • Two live music shows, scheduled for July 15 and 16, will celebrate the landmark's anniversary

Question: How many cups of tasty coffee can Angelenos, not to mention visitors to our swell town, savor while relaxing at an outdoor table, in the shade of some fab food stalls, over the course of 87 years?

The answer: Countless cups of coffee, certainly in the hundreds of thousands if not the millions.

A LOT of coffee, is what we're saying, and probably several truckloads of doughnuts, too.

And the reason that number is so high is twofold: The Original Farmers Market just turned 87, and its fans have kept on returning, again and again and again, for a cup of joe, a sinker, some time with a newspaper, book, or friends, and a whole lot of people-watching.

If you were just a bambino back in 1934, you may have arrived at the corner of Third Street and Fairfax Avenue in a pram or a parent's arms, but the scene back then looked rather different: You would have seen farmers from around the region selling their vegetables and fruits straight from their trucks.

Soon, booths were built, Magee's Kitchen began selling hearty lunches to the farmers and shoppers, and the public market began to spread out, stall by stall, in an organic and charming fashion.

Not long after, movie stars began to grab a pastry and possibly a paparazzi shot under the market's iconic green awnings, and locals and tourists made it their homey, come-as-you-are hangout.

Pile on a few more decades, a few (though not many, all told) new tenants, and loads of holiday celebrations and entertainment offerings, and you have a merry market that is still a daily must-stop for so many of its neighbors, as well as Southern Californians further afield.

Oh yes, and all of those visitors, from other states and countries. They all know about the Original Farmers Market and its frosting-topped, coffee-scented, fruit-flavorful wonders.

To celebrate this icon's July 14 birthday, there are two concerts out on the Market Plaza.

Janet Klein and Her Parlor Boys will summon the sounds of the market's earliest era, the 1930s, as well as some hot tunes from the Twenties, too. That's on Thursday, July 15 from 5 to 7 p.m., and entry is free.

And on Friday evening, July 16? Rick Whitfield will pay tribute to Motown from 5 to 7 p.m., also on the Market Plaza.

There's another way to enjoy the market's anniversary: The Original Farmers Market has asked its fans to share some of their favorite market memories on social media.

Did you go to the landmark with your grandma decades ago? Do you visit with your grandkids today? Can you say you've done both those things, as many longtime Angelenos can?


Happy 87th, dear OFM. Your clocktower'd charms, green-awning'd glamour, and easygoing atmosphere continue to enchant, bewitch, and draw us back for another plate of corned beef, another crepe, another slice of pizza, and tons (and tons) of toffee.

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