Aspen Saturday Market turns 18

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times
Kick off summer this morning with the first Saturday Market of the year. This season’s market welcomes at least 12 new vendors, and altogether expects nearly 100.
Courtesy photo |

What better way to kick off summer and the weekend than strolling along Aspen’s quaint streets, admiring artisans’ handmade products or sampling fresh, local goods while catching up with friends?

Aspen’s Saturday Market returns for the season from 8:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. today.

This year, the Saturday Market welcomes at least 12 new vendors and altogether expects nearly 100.

“This is as large as it can get,” said Kathy Strickland, who manages the market for the city.

According to Strickland, the market’s new vendors include Osito Orchard, Happy Hogs, Ross and Rosie Andrews, Colorado Chairs, Zephyros Farm, Two Roots Farm, Cortni Kunze, Anna Forre Fine Art, Jus Aspen, Raksanne Sanders & Matt, Josefina Gordh and Peter Grannis.

The market’s origins track back to the late 1990s, when Aspen City Council approved a farmers’ market downtown.

Eighteen years later, the market has blossomed into a celebrated community event, and for many, a Saturday ritual.

“I know people who like to wake up Saturday morning and be there right at 9,” said Erik Klanderud, director of member services for the Aspen Chamber Resort Association. “They get all their vegetables and their flowers, and then they’re off, hiking, biking, skiing, golfing — whatever they’re into this time of season.”

Around this time of year, Klanderud said he receives many calls from repeat Aspen visitors wondering when the Saturday market starts.

“The energy is just incredible; everybody’s in a great mood,” he said. “It’s a really fun, special activity.”

What’s also special about the market is that everything is either made, grown or produced in Colorado.

The Saturday Market forms a U-shape from the corner of Galena Street and Hopkins Avenue to Hunter Street and back to the intersection of Hyman Avenue and Galena Street.

The market is open every Saturday until early October. After Labor Day, the hours will shift from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.