Riverside Arts Market

The Riverside Arts Market (also known by locals as RAM) will always hold a special place in my heart.  When I first moved to Jacksonville about a year and a half ago, I was looking for something to do on one of the first weekends in town.  Going to RAM was when I first really fell in love with my new hometown of Jacksonville, Florida.  It was my first experience of really exploring the city.
RAM - Under the Bridge

RAM – Under the Bridge

RAM - View of the River

RAM – View of the River

RAM is a unique combination of farmer’s market and arts market.  Under the shadow of the Fuller Warren Bridge and with the picturesque St John’s River serving as the backdrop, the Riverside Arts Market is a unique place to find unique items.  RAM is a great representation of the eclectic-ness of Jacksonville.  Who knew that in the same shopping trip, one could get goat’s milk, coconut bacon, a tie-dye shirt, and a handmade magic wand?  There are handcrafted handbags, jewelry, and other crafts, original artwork and photography, and indie musicians just trying to make a living.
RAM - Handmade Soap

RAM – Handmade Soap

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.

RAM - Pickles, Popsicles, and Coffee

RAM – Pickles, Popsicles, and Coffee

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.

RAM - Demonstration by Congaree and Penn

RAM – Demonstration by Congaree and Penn

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.

RAM - Farmer's Row

RAM – Farmer’s Row

RAM - Coconut Bacon by Fresh Jax

RAM – Coconut Bacon by Fresh Jax

RAM - Guacamole by Food Unchained

RAM – Guacamole by Food Unchained

RAM - Guanabana Ice Pops

RAM – Guanabana Ice Pops

Riverside Arts Market
715 Riverside Ave
Jacksonville, FL

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