FRENCH MARKET CELEBRATES HISPANIC HERITAGE
Click aqui para español- >El Mercado Francés (French Market) celebra la herencia hispana
The French Market is one of the most visited tourist spots in the French Quarter and extends from the open market (aka flea market), where artists and vendors offer their crafts and New Orleans souvenirs, to the building that houses the renowned Cafe Du Monde.
New Orleans’ first food market was an informal open-air facility on the levee. The Spanish formalized the market, erecting the first building on Chartres and Dumaine streets in 1783 and relocating it in 1790 to Decatur Street between St. Ann and Dumaine streets. The oldest standing building in the market is what was then the Meat Market, built in 1813 by Gurlie and Guillot based on the designs of the city surveyor Jacques Tanesse.
Years later, in 1882, the new surveyor designed the Vegetable Market, which was built in two phases, with construction ending in 1830. Later, other buildings known as the “Red Stores” were added between the vegetable market and the levee. A bazaar-style shop was also added in the 1850s and was relocated in 1872.
Commercial agreements, tax collection rules, and health codes have been established through the years to regulate the market. In 1932, the city proposed a new franchise agreement for the operation and physical improvement of the French Market. On August 23, 1923, the Businessmen Association established a managing entity, the French Market Corporation. Years later, the corporation became a non-profit organization that still operates.
Today, the French Market District is home to more than a dozen restaurants offering a variety of local food and international flavors. The French Market Corporation also oversees Crescent Park, The Shops of the Upper Pontalba, and parking lots by the levee.
The corporation hosts fun events, shows, and festivals for the entire family. In 2022, the corporation held its inaugural Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration to honor the market’s history and to celebrate Latino culture with the community. They also collaborated with VIVA NOLA Magazine on a series of videos to highlight their Latino vendors. Other events at the market include the Boo Carré Halloween Haunt, the cooking and live music series Making a Jazz Gumbo, the Saint Nick Christmas celebration, and the famous Creole Tomato Festival held in June.
Tourists and residents can enjoy a day of authentic shopping at the French Market District from 10 am to 5 pm. They can meet artisans who offer ceramics, apparel, jewelry, metal sculptures, leather accessories, wooden handcrafts, handbags, hats, fabrics, paintings, natural beauty products, food, and more.
For more information about the events and a directory of the stores, visit frenchmarket.org.
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