Author: Alexandra LaRocque, Downtown Vision Marketing and Events Intern
With the crisp fall air just right around the corner, we couldn’t think of a more appropriate activity for your Saturday. Strolling through the Riverside Arts Market and glancing at all of the booths is sure to be a good start to anyone’s weekend. In case you have yet to visit the market — or you’re just curious — we want to take you on an imaginative tour through the hustle and bustle that is the Riverside Arts Market. You can find RAM up and running every Saturday from 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. right under the Fuller Warren Bridge, providing plenty of time to shop and optimal views of the St. Johns River.
Now that we have the where and when figured out, let’s get to the good stuff. As you enter the RAM you will notice multiple strips of vendors filled with unique homemade goods, produce, plants, and more. Don’t get overwhelmed, visitors tend to go with the flow so you’re able to hit each vendor in sight. We will begin with a stop at the produce booths first, these vendors provide various types of produce and are always the freshest you can find. Ripe avocados and basil are just two examples of the many options you will have at your visit. If you want to plan for more than just picking up your weekly produce list at RAM, a great idea would be to grab a bottle of local honey and a fresh chunk of brie. That way during your next wine night you can make the most scrumptious baked brie — we recommend adding walnuts for extra taste & a crunch.
Other than produce and the countless snacks that you will without a doubt smell while maneuvering throughout the market, food trucks are always there, presenting a wide array of delicious, warm, ready to serve food for your growling stomach. Pro tip: try a new food truck each weekend to decide which one is your favorite, then you can narrow down your favorite menu items to get each Saturday — yum!
Florida doesn’t always deliver when it comes to changing seasons, that’s one of the many reasons why Candle Leaf’s booth at RAM is so favored. This is one of the many vendors that offers homemade products that you won’t be able to find in stores. Candle Leaf creates soy wax candles that are hand poured right here in Jacksonville. They stay on top of their scents and already have the Fall collection ready to warm up any home — pumpkin everything for the win.
As we continue to stroll through the RAM, the beautiful art will catch your eye. Local artists line up their work for all to browse and admire. RAM has acrylic paintings featured at the BEach HAPPY art, LLC booth as well as oil paintings at the Oremus Art booth. Paintings are always at RAM along with art including glasswork and prints. The amount of unique booths allow for endless options to meet all of your art piece needs.
Next to those pieces comes art in another form… jewelry. Something amazing about the art markets is the exposure that the vendors receive to showcase their talent and finished work. The jewelry has always been one of our favorite things about the RAM and the uniqueness really shines through at each booth. If you are looking to stand out — and maybe even have some folks ask you where your ring or necklace is from — find a piece at the RAM. Generations Handcrafted Jewelry and mochi & bella are two of the various vendors that sell handmade jewelry for you to stop by. Don’t fret we didn’t forget about the doggos; collars, leashes, and treats are awaiting your pup.
Let’s take a little rewind real quick… before RAM officially opens at 10 a.m. there is another treat in store to really get your day started. Head over to the RAM River Stage to roll out your mat and get into namaste mode, because at 9 a.m. yoga class begins. Follow along as the teacher of the week leads you through an hour flow and connects you with your inner self (all levels welcome). By the way, did we mention that the class is free? Wake up an hour early on your Saturday morning and give the yoga class a try before shopping at your new favorite RAM booth.
This is only a small capture of what the Riverside Arts Market is. We believe that it takes experiencing it for yourself to truly understand why RAM is such a hit and loved by so many. The community coming together to support locally (loyal to local) is something we love to see and it is the picture of RAM. Enough imagining for now, next Saturday the RAM is waiting for you!