A Month of Markets Around San Antonio
Farmers’ markets, that is – and not just in metropolitan San Antonio, although the every-Saturday at the Pearl Brewery reigns supreme for location and places to eat, and sheer variety of offerings. Not to mention the live music and the family friendliness of it all. One could actually work up a schedule of hitting the local markets and doing a bit of sight-seeing in certain towns within driving distance of San Antonio: they’d be something to do, every Saturday – and better for you than vegging out in front of the television.
First Saturday of the month: Wimberley Market Days, which is just about the granddaddy of them all, being the oldest outdoor market in the state, and the second-largest, with more than 470 booths. Many of them are permanent – about the size of very large garden sheds, and decorated in a number of interesting and charmingly rustic ways, scattered along a network of paths in a grove of shady trees. Once in Wimberley, just follow all the traffic. It’s a small town, you can’t miss it. Myself, I am still waiting to see the guys who had the old portable gristmill, and who would grind fresh wheat flour and cornmeal, while you waited. The flour and the cornmeal were splendid – alas, no one at Market Days had seen them for months, the last time I was there.
Second Saturday of the month: Boerne – just up IH-10 west. I know what it looks like, but it’s pronounced Bernie. The market is set up in the town square, just off Main Street – you can’t miss the bandstand. There was a food-vendor there last time, who had absolutely splendid gorditas, and another one who built funnel-cakes, each one sufficient to feed a large family or several hungry teenaged boys. The town square is lined with huge, shady pecan trees – it’s not a permanent venue, like Wimberley. The pavilions go down, when the market is over.
Third Saturday of the month: it’s Gruene, they say, on the far side of the hill! The sleepy and historical little village of Gruene, just north of New Braunfels has their specialty market on the third weekend, on the grounds in front of the Adoble Verde restaurant. The particular appeal of Gruene’s market is that the goods displayed there are all created by the vendors and artists themselves. None of this made in China stuff – it’s all real.
Forth Saturday of the month: Uvalde, held on the plaza, across from the county courthouse, offering much the same assortment of music, vendors, edibles and the charm of the outdoors . . .
And I didn’t even mention the Christmas markets . . . later. And if all this does not appeal, or is too far to drive, or just too darned pricy – well, there’s always Busey’s Flea Market, just up IH-35 North. Every weekend, and just look for the concrete armadillo.