On the south end of the market is an amphitheater for music and special events. On this particular Saturday, the sounds of the UNF Jazz Ensemble filled the air. Most Saturdays are theme days at RAM. A couple of weeks ago was Filipino Pride Day, with performances from local Filipino groups and a performance from YouTube star Mikey Bustos. Other themes include Yoga Day, Kids’ Day, Small Business Day, and the ever-popular Arf Barket, when canine RAM fans show up in force. Upcoming events include Hollidazzle Saturday on December 19th when RAM will extend their hours until 9pm. With Christmas right around the corner, this is a great time to get unique, one-of-a-kind gifts for your loved ones, while at the same time supporting some great local artists.
Beyond the local art and products for sale, RAM features a great deal of food vendors. Being a food guy, I gravitated towards the food vendors. And oh the food! Many of Jacksonville’s favorite restaurants and eateries come out to RAM on Saturdays to represent their brand and share their yummy creations with market-goers. There is organic produce, local honey, desserts, artisanal cheeses and bread, as well as artisanal olives and pickles (who knew there were artisanal olives and pickles?). RAM is a great place to grab a bite for lunch while taking in the sights and sounds. It’s also a great place to pick up something for dinner since there are many artisanal prepared foods, local farmers selling their harvest, and meat mongers selling their special cuts of beef. Every Saturday, dozens of farmers and growers fill booths along what has become known as Farmer’s Row at RAM. These hard-working growers bring in some of the freshest local seasonal produce and ingredients around, straight from the farm to you.
The Riverside Arts Market is a great place that supports local artists, craftsmen, farmers, and food vendors from all over Florida. This is a must-visit market on Saturdays in the Riverside area of Jacksonville. RAM continues every Saturday from March 7th until December 19th from 10am until 4pm. It is open rain or shine. Admission and parking is free.