It takes a lot to put on a rain-or-shine weekly farmers market, but for the last 25 years, BREADA has done exactly that, providing a venue for regional farmers and producers to connect with consumers who like to eat local. On Thursday, September 29, BREADA holds its annual Farm Fête fundraiser to support its four-location Red Stick Farmers Market and other outreach programs.
Farm Fête will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on the fourth floor terrace of the River Center Library and includes live music, catered cuisine and live and silent auctions.
“Our farmers appreciate every market purchase, and we are eager to continue facilitating those connections in Baton Rouge and beyond with the critical funds raised from this event,” says BREADA executive director Darlene Adams Rowland. She adds that Farm Fête will kick off a few days before the main event at the Saturday, September 24, Red Stick Farmers Market at 5th and Main streets downtown.
At the morning market, expect to see live music from Austin Monceaux and the Acadiana Ramblers, bloody Marys and mimosas for purchase from City Pork, the opening of Farm Fete’s silent virtual auction and a wine pull.
“The wine pull was really popular last year, and we’re looking forward to bringing it back,” Rowland says.
For a $20 wine pull ticket, participants select one bottle from about 50 options whose labels are masked. Most of the wines are valued at around $20, but some are much higher, yielding special, high-dollar bottles to a few lucky winners, Rowland says.
Farm Fête’s virtual silent auction also opens at the Saturday market, and its prizes track with BREADA’s local food system mission, Rowland says. Bid on a chef’s table dinner at Eliza; a guided tour of farmstead cheese producer, Belle Ecorce Farms and Goat Dairy in St. Martinville; strawberry picking at Fekete Farm in Hungarian Settlement; a variety of farmers market items; local art; a meat package from Cutrer’s Meat Market and other stock-the-pantry type prizes. The virtual auction closes at 8:30 p.m. during Farm Fête’s Thursday, September 29, main event.
That evening, John Gray Jazz and Friends will play live. Several restaurants and caterers will serve food, including Bergeron’s City Market, Chef Celeste Bistro, City Club of Baton Rouge, Cocha, Eliza, Houmas House Garden and Estate, Louisiana Boudin Brothers and Mestizo. City Pork and Three Roll Estate will serve cocktails.
The live auction during the event includes an electric bike, a guided tour of the Atchafalaya Basin by The Nature Conservancy, a “cane to glass” tour of Alma Plantation and Oxbow Rum Distillery, a private butchering session at Iverstine Farms Butcher and others.
BREADA’s four Red Stick Farmers Market locations include downtown at Fifth and Main streets on Saturdays, the parking lot of the Pennington Biomedical Research Center on Thursdays, a seasonal market held Tuesdays at the Main Library and a mobile market at the ExxonMobil YMCA on Wednesdays, where BREADA’s team sells produce on behalf of participating farmers.
For tickets and more information, visit farmfete.org. To buy tickets or pre-register for the auction, text “farmer” to 79230.