The mission of the Old Town Poteau Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair is to provide a free or low-cost location in Poteau where farmers, ranchers, and craftsmen have better marketing opportunities, to promote locally grown food and beverages as well as locally produced arts and crafts, to provide an educational forum consumers to learn the uses and benefits of quality, locally grown or prepared food products, to make healthy, regionally produced foods accessible to lower-income residents, and to enhance the quality of life in the Poteau regional area by providing a community activity which fosters social gathering and interaction. The focus is on community development by developing a sense of community, encouraging healthy living and lifestyles, and encouraging artistic endeavors.
Poteau’s Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair provides a variety of produce and craft items for visitors to the area.
The Poteau Farmer’s Market was officially opened in April of 2014. The first day of the market looked bleak. Two vendors showed up in the pouring rain. Despite the deluge and limited amount of produce, people still came out to support Poteau’s newest market.
Eric Standridge created the core concept in 2012 after discussions with former mayor Don Barnes. Mayor Barnes wanted to see a community gathering place set in a fun atmosphere. The concept was to provide a free place for people to sell extra produce, for artists to showcase their art, and for people to come together as part of a community. In 2013, this concept was extended with the help of the OSU Extension office. The focus has always been on community participation and healthy living and lifestyles.
By 2014, things were ready to go! The first market started with two people in the “asphalt park” downtown. By the end of the year, it had grown to an amazing 6 vendors.
In 2017, the market averaged 25 vendors, with an attendance of 200 to 500 per day. Because of space constraints and fees on park usage, vendors decided to find a new home. The goal was to find a location where the market is easily visible with plenty of space for both vendors and visitors. After receiving permission from the Bowling Alley and the Shopping Center, it was decided that the area in front of Strikealot Lanes would be ideal. The name was then changed from “Old Town Farmer’s Market and Craft Fair” to “Poteau’s Farmer’s Market”.
Today, the Poteau Farmer’s Market is the largest in Southeast Oklahoma and is the only certified Oklahoma Grown market in the region.
Because the market is Oklahoma Grown, you will only find produce items that are locally grown and are in season. Outside produce is allowed and clearly marked as such.
Several meat vendors can be found at the market during various times of the year. This includes everything from Angus beef to poultry and eggs.
There is also a big variety of art to be found at the market. As one of the cornerstones of the market, the market strives to promote art from throughout the region.
Many weekends feature music as well. These are all local artists who want to promote the music scene in Poteau.
With the new location, the Poteau Market has a lot of room to grow! We expect 2018 to be a banner year for the market!