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The Pike Place Market has been in operation for 100 years. It exists on nine acres and is called "The Soul of Seattle."
The cost of onions increased tenfold between the years of 1906 and 1907. Citizens of Seattle were outraged and tired of paying the middlemen too much for their produce. Seattle City Councilman Thomas Revelle proposed a public street market for farmers and consumers to deal directly with each other. August 17, 1907, Pike Place Market was established. "Meet the Producer" directly, is a philosophy that is still the foundation of all Pike Place Market businesses.
On the first day of business, a total of eight farmers brought their wagons to the corner of First Avenue and Pike Street. They were quickly overwhelmed by an estimated 10,000 eager shoppers. They sold out at 11:00 a.m., and thousands of shoppers left empty-handed. By the end of 1907, the first Market building opened with every space filled.
Today, Pike Place Market is internationally recognized as America's premier farmers' market. It is home to nearly 200 year-round commercial businesses, 190 craftspeople and 120 farmers who rent table space by the day. There are 240 street performers and musicians, and 300 apartment units (most of which house low-income elderly people). The market attracts 10 million visitors per year. It is one of Washington's most frequently visited destinations.
Location and hours: Pike Place/1st Avenue level: Monday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Down Under stores: Monday through Sunday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Parking Garage: Public Market Parking Garage, 1531 Western Avenue, Seattle, Washington 98101.
There are also a number of other parking lots, on First Avenue and along Western Avenue. Finding a parking space can be difficult on busy summer days. If you plan on going to the Market for Centennial events in the summer, consider going very early in the day to secure a parking spot. You can also travel by bus and leave your car at home or at your motel or park near the Seattle Center and ride the Monorail downtown.
Market Heritage Tours
The tours are presented by knowledgeable insiders and consist of:
Practical shopping tips
Wednesdays through Saturday at 9:30 a.m. (as of the year of 2007)
Reservations are required 24 hours in advance for weekday's tours and by 4:00 p.m. on Fridays for weekend tours. Cost is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors (55+) and children (under 18). Tours begin at the Market's Information Booth at 1st Avenue & Pike Street. For more information, contact them at 206-774-5249.
The Pike Place Market is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day and their merchant's set their own hours. Check the shopping and dining guides before coming to visit a specific shop or stall. In general, the restaurants stay open later and during the peak farm season, farmers are usually set up to sell by 8:00 a.m. or earlier.
Source: Pike Place Market Online
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2007 Connie Limon All Rights Reserved
Written by: Connie Limon. For more vacation ideas visit http://smalldogs2.com/VacationIdeas For a variety of FREE reprint articles and special topic articles rarely found elsewhere visit Camelot Articles at http://www.camelotarticles.com