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Lawrence launches ‘Fort Ben Farmers Market’

LAWRENCE, Ind. (WISH) – Weeks after Marsh Supermarket closures left one central Indiana community struggling without a convenient grocery option, leaders in Lawrence launched a new farmers market in hopes of providing fresh food options and a business attraction.

Mayor Steve Collier said his community is under-served in grocery options. The Fort Harrison Reuse Authority, a branch of the city’s government, has been working to turn the former Army base into a cultural district and recently to attract a major grocery store.

Collier’s administration worked for a year to establish the Fort Ben Farmers Market.

“A grocery store with healthy options is a viable force. We can run our farmers market for most of the summer and fall months but we get into the winter (and it’s) not quite as effective at that point. So, if we can attract a grocery store into the city this, I think, lends a lot more credence to that idea,” Collier said.

The city’s hopes surrounding the market also include introducing diverse neighborhoods in ways that improve life in Lawrence.

“Anything we can do to make people feel as if this is a great place to live, work and play as we talk about, we’re going to do that,” Collier said. “That can be all different facets. That’s kind of our role as city government.”

The market was set to launch June 1 and run every Thursday through September. Its hours were set for 4:00-7:30 p.m. to give local employees a chance to stop by after getting off work.

In addition to food vendors, the city said it plans to host various entertainment and games for kids.

The market will be in the 5600 block of Lawrence Village Parkway.

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