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Find Your Next Gift by Shopping Small this Holiday Season!  

You can always tell by the stack of Amazon boxes being dropped off on every other doorstep that the countdown to the gift giving season is in full swing.  

However, this holiday season, Midtown Association wants to reach you with the message to #ShopSmall in Midtown. With over 50+ local shops, you can find a gift for every friend, family member, and significant other that is unique and special!  

Instead of marking your calendars for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, make sure you note that Saturday, November 26 is Small Business Saturday – a day to celebrate and support small businesses. 

You might not realize it, but every time you pick up a bag of coffee beans from your favorite neighborhood café, shop at our weekly Midtown Farmers Market, or buy a gift from a local clothing store in Midtown, you’re shopping small and making a difference in our community. 

Read on to learn about the many local shops in Midtown, be inspired for the upcoming gift-giving season, and learn of special Small Business Saturday promotions! 

Small Business Saturday Promotions 

On Saturday November 26, plan a fun-filled day of local shopping to celebrate Small Business Saturday. Start your day at the Midtown Farmers Market to pick up a free #ShopSmall shopping bag and check out the 100+ vendors! Afterwards, discover our small businesses throughout the Midtown grid and start crossing names of your shopping list. 

Bonus … SacRT is offering FREE rides to support Small Business Saturday. Rides on fixed-route bus and light rail are FREE from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. with this free ride flyer.

Who’s ready to #ShopSmall? Use our below gift giving guide to find the perfect gift for every special someone! Or use our business directory to find all our shops and restaurants in Midtown. Any special promotions for stores will be italicized! 

Midtown 2022 #ShopSmall Gift Giving Guide 

For The Plant & Flower Lover 

Find houseplants, pots, accessories for every plant nerd in your life OR surprise your significant other with their favorite flowers or a beautiful holiday themed bouquet. 

  • Propagate | 1700 I Street – 20% off the entire shop for Small Business Saturday
  • Relles Florist | 2400 J Streetplants are 25% off, wrapped flowers are 30% off, and rose arrangements are 30% off.

For the Pet Parent  

Whoever said pets don’t need presents should be on the naughty list. Treat your furry friends to treats, accessories, adorable holiday outfits and all the holiday love this season by shopping at these Midtown pet shops! 

  • Leash and Collar | 1901 Q Street – Buy one get one 50% off on holiday toys! AND mix and match 3 walking accessories and get 30% off the bundle. 
  • Paws and the Palette | 1014 24th Street – Buy one get one free on exclusive treats!

For the Coffee Lover 

Midtown is filled to the brim with local cafes. Plus a warm coffee or tea may be just what you need to start your small business shopping spree on a good note!

  • Temple | 2200 K Street, 2829 S Street & 1615 16th Street – Purchase two bags of beans to receive a free festivity mug! 
  • Pachamama Coffee | 919 20th Street Spend $50 and get a free mug and 3 for $45 deal on all 10oz bags!
  • DRIP Espresso Cafe |1004 24th Street – $30 gift card value for the price of $25.
  • Milka Coffee Roasters |1501 G Street

Check out our other blog to learn about the many coffee shops in Midtown.

For the Beer Connoisseur, Wine Lover & Mixologist

Need a gift for that one friend who just invested in a fancy bar cart? Find them local beer, wine or spirits to complete their dream at home bar.

  • Good News Wine | 1050 20th Street – Complimentary hot cider while you shop, with the option to add sherry for a tasty treat. Plus 10% off with mention of Explore Midtown.
  • At Ease Brewing |1825 I Street
  • Midtown Spirits | 1717 19th Street – Buy a $50 gift card, and receive a free $10 gift card for yourself
  • Acheson Wine Company | 1629 19th Street- $10 wine flight to taste all  8 of Acheson wines
  • Revolution Wines |2831 S Street 

For the Fashion Icon  

Avoid fast fashion this holiday, and find your friend or significant other quality clothing pieces from local boutiques in Midtown!

  • Heart Clothing Boutique | 1903 Capitol Avenue – Give away to first 20 shoppers! Plus 20% off  store wide. 
  • Sugar Shack Boutique and Krazy Mary’s Boutique |2425 J Street & 3230 Folsom Blvd. – 20% off entire purchase (excluding gift cards). Plus a free gift with purchase for first 20 customers. 
  • Wild Poppy & Co |1008 24th Street – Special gift with purchase and 20% off any purchases in store. 
  • Little Relics| 1111 24th Street – 20% off any purchase. 30% off purchases over $100. An additional 10% off to anyone who brings a new and unwrapped toy.
  • The Cotton Club |2331 J Street
  • Peek a Boo at Prevues |2417 K Street
  • Swanbergs on J | 2316 J Street
  • Freestyle | 1906 L Street Buy one gift card get a coupon for yourself. Free tote and sticker with purchase over $50. More in store deals like free gift wrapping, stocking stuffer deals and more!
  • TRUE | 1900 K Street 50% off in store discount 
  • Shop Cuffs | 2200 J Street20% off purchases of $50+, and 30% off $100+ during Thanksgiving weekend
  • Shop YSJ | 1812 J Street20% off entire purchase for Small Business Saturday

For the Home Décor Designer  

Aspiring home décor designer or someone who is looking for some new pieces to add to their cozy apartment, Midtown has everything you are looking for!

  • Wild Heart Beauty | 2413 J Street | – 15% off for Small Business Saturday and spiked coffee for shoppers
  • Kulture |  2331 K Street50% off all large wood framed artwork and 20% off mirrors
  • Witching Post |  1729 L Street Donating 11% of all artwork sales and 26% of all furniture and accessories to Safe Haven (a local charity that aids domestic violence victims).
  • Bliss Marketplace |  2722 R Street -Collecting donations for new socks and underwear for the River City Foodbank. All donations will be matched by Bliss Marketplace!
  • Scout Living | 1215 18th Street 10-30% throughout the store 

For the New Parent 

Find new and unique clothes for your children at this cheerful boutique or visit the Sutter’s Fort Museum Store to gift your child with a present that encourages learning and discovery.

  • The Moppet Shoppe |2524 J Street – 20% off all Holiday apparel
  • Sutter’s Fort Museum Store | 2701 L Street – Special membership promotion over Thanksgiving weekend, and 10% off entire purchase on Museum Store Day on November 27.  

For the Future Bride 

Whether you’re shopping for yourself or want to give your friend a gift for her special day, check out these local bridal shops in Midtown.

For the Art, Music & Theatre Lover 

The best gifts are the ones we can experience. Find your friend tickets to a theatre show, or a new record or book, or encourage their favorite hobbies like photography or art!

For the Pop Culture & Video Game Nerd  

Need some help getting your bestie or significant other a gift that celebrates their favorite fandom, superhero or video game? Check out these stores to find the ultimate gift for them.

  • 1 Up Retro Video Games |  2325 J Street10% off all consoles, 15% off all games, and 20% off merch for Thanksgiving weekend!
  • Beehive Collectibles | 1006 24th Street All common Funko POP!$10 each, all Funko SODA Figures $10 each, all action figures 20% off, all POP! pins & FigPins 30% off, and 15% off everything else! 
  • Big Brother Comics | 920 20th Street #150 Buy 2 get 1 Free Board Games, buy 2 get 1 Free Trade Paper Backs and discounts on Magic The Gathering sealed products

For the Self-Care Specialist  

If you have someone hardworking in your life, sometimes the best gift is one that encourages them to take care of themselves. Whether it be a floating session or crystals, you can find plenty of healing and self-care options in Midtown.

For the Earth Conscious  

Find an array of home goods and body care products for your earth conscious bestie!

  • Sac Co-op | 2820 I Street 
  • Refill Madness | 1828 29th Street – 20% off all bath bombs, shower tabs and bath salts; 10% off ECOS hand soap refills; 10% off all Glad Rags Feminine Hygiene products; 20% off SenzaCare Dental Floss and 25% off Refill Madness T-shirts.
  • Nudge Eco Store | 1126 18th Street – 30 – 40% off a massive selection of products in every section: baby, bath, kitchen and cosmetics! 

For the Exercise Enthusiast 

Shopping for an avid runner or bicyclist? Look no further than Midtown to find them the perfect gift.

  • Cycle Bar | 1708 15th Street Take advantage of their Small Business Saturday deal of 10 rides for $149 and 30 rides for $299.
  • Fleet Feet |2311 J Street 
  • Pacos Bike Shop | 2028 K Street 

For the Sweet Tooth  

You can never go wrong with chocolate as a gift. Visit the Midtown boutique to find delicious bonbons, macarons, ice cream & more. To explore all of our favorite dessert shops read our blog on our favorite sweet spot in Midtown.

  • Ginger Elizabeth’s |  180l L Street Receive a $10 Gift Card with $100 In-Store Purchase (Gift card good in-stores or for pick-up orders on Toast)

For Everyone!  

  • Mixed Bag | 2405 K Street
  • Zocalos | 1801 Capitol Ave – For every $100 spent, receive a bonus $20 giftcard. This promotion runs from Black Friday to December 31st.
  • Strapping | 1731 L Street – Free gift for anyone who spends over $50
  • The Midtown Farmers Market | 20th and K Streets

Remember to #ShopSmall on Saturday November 26 to help support our small business community! We will be passing out free shopping bags at the Midtown Farmers Market to help you carry all the unique and special goods you find shopping! Tag us on @exploremidtown or #exploremidtown for a chance to be featured on our social media. 

LGBTQ in Midtown, History and Today

It is impossible to speak of LGBTQ history and culture in Midtown without mention of the Lavender Heights District. The neighborhood is rich with the history of Sacramento’s vibrant community; and attracts local and regional residents and tourists to the area’s many LGBTQIA+ owned clubs, restaurants, salons, galleries, and retail stores. Lavender Heights is located at the heart of Midtown at 20th and K Streets and is the home of our weekly Midtown Farmers Market.

History of Lavender Heights

In 1978, just nine years after the Stonewall Riots, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center was originally incorporated as a special assistance program based in Midtown, Sacramento. The Center is Sacramento’s oldest non-profit serving the needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

In 1984, the Rev. Jerry Falwell appeared on television and denied that he ever referred to the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) as vile and satanic and its members “brute beasts” on his Old Time Gospel Hour. Falwell offered $5,000 to anyone who could prove that he had.

The Rev. Jerry Sloan of MCC in Sacramento called Falwell’s toll-free number, purchased a copy of the tape as proof, and demanded payment of the $5,000. When Falwell refused, Sloan sued with legal pioneer Rosemary Metrailer and won. With $5,000 in hand, the Lambda Community Fund was reorganized to later become what we know today as the Sacramento LGBT Community Center.

In 1985, Faces Nightclub was the first gay club in Sacramento when it opened its doors at 20th and K Street. “When I opened it, it was where everyone who was gay could go, that was 33 years ago,” Faces owner Terry Sidie said, in an interview with ABC10 in 2017. The establishment of Faces paved the way for other LGBTQIA+ businesses to open in the immediate area, which earned its name Lavender Heights.

In 2015, Sacramento City Council member Steve Hansen, Sacramento’s first openly LGBTQ+ council member, invited the Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce to be part of a community coalition to pursue official city designation of the LGBTQ+ neighborhood of Midtown Sacramento historically known as “Lavender Heights.”

The goal of establishing Lavender Heights as an official district was two-fold: to serve as a memorial and landmark referencing the history of Sacramento’s vibrant LGBTQ+ community; and to attract local and regional residents and tourists to the area’s many LGBTQ+ owned clubs, restaurants, salons, galleries, and retail stores.

As a “flagship” landmark to spotlight the new district, the city approved the installation of a rainbow crosswalk at the intersection of 20th and K, the heart of Lavender Heights. The rainbow crosswalks were designed as a celebration of the region’s LGBT community and are similar to those in other U.S. cities, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seattle, and West Hollywood. This project was a collaborative effort of the Midtown Association, the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, and Councilmember Steve Hansen. The crosswalks are maintained and supported by the Midtown Association, which is committed to ensuring Midtown remains a thriving center for culture, creativity, and vibrancy.

In 2017, a documentary was released about a woman who founded the Sacramento LGBT Community Center (then called the Lambda Community Center) after bringing a successful lawsuit against a reverend. Titled “Legends of Courage: The Rosemary Metrailer Story” highlights actions leading up to the legal action against the Rev. Jerry Falwell, which led to the founding of the Center by Metrailer in 1984. 

In 2019, the Sacramento LGBT Community Center moved into its forever home at 1015 20th street, in the heart of the Lavender Heights district. The Center continues to offer peer support groups for a variety of marginalized populations, community resource referrals to meet individual basic needs, education, and training to improve the competency of businesses and organizations to LGBTQ+ issues, numerous artistic expressions, and cultural activities that build community, and volunteer opportunities that empower individuals to give back.

In 2021, Midtown Association partnered with WEAVE Inc., The Sacramento LGBT Community Center, The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, Faces Nightclub, and Outword Magazine to launch PRIDE, Pronouns & Progress: Gender Inclusion Training, a new grant program and series of workshops for interested Midtown and Central City businesses. The free, hour-long inclusivity training sessions for grant recipients will be led by WEAVE in a virtual format to focus on three primary topics: educating interested businesses about gender identities, gender rights in the workplace and beyond, and the importance of pronouns that go well beyond he/him/his and she/her/hers to include gender-neutral or inclusive pronouns. 

In February 2022, as part of a partnership between Midtown Association and the Rainbow Chamber of Commerce, 10 vibrant new banners are now proudly displayed on 20th Street between J and K Streets — including in front of the Sacramento LGBT Community Center. The colorful banners were specially designed to demonstrate and celebrate #MidtownLove, acceptance, and inclusion in the heart of Lavender Heights. In addition to the banners on 20th Street, the new eye-catching and whimsical “Love is in our roots” rainbow vegetable art wraps were installed on utility boxes on 21st Street.

Today, Lavender Heights is home to weekly farmers markets and seasonal block parties and serves as the hub for Pride events to celebrate LGBTQIA+ culture and community. Amenities such as the rainbow crosswalks and public art further declare the neighborhood as a space for people to take pride in being unapologetically themselves.

 

LGBTQIA+ Businesses In Midtown

 

View the Map                                    View the Guide

 

Lavender Heights Events

Lavender Heights is full of weekly, seasonal, and annual events:

 

Midtown Farmers Market – Every Saturday Year-round

Shop from 5 blocks of local farmers, artisans, and vendors from the Lavender District. Midtown Farmers Market is open every Saturday year-round. Learn More

 

Makeup & Mimosas Drag Brunch – Every Sunday at Badlands

Sundays are a Drag! Sip on mimosas and watch extravagant performances from local Drag Queens every Sunday at Badlands. Learn More

 

Drag Queen Bingo – First Thursday of the month at Mango’s

Drag Queen Bingo is a monthly charity fundraising event located hosted at Mango’s Sacramento. Come play bingo every first Thursday and enjoy comedic performances by Drag Host-with-the-most, DoMe Moore. Learn More

 

THIS916 Block Party – May through October

THIS916’s seasonal block party series brings 20th Street between J and K Streets to life with local and renowned musical artists. Learn More

 

Sacramento Rainbow Festival – Labor Day Weekend

Sacramento Rainbow Festival is a huge street celebration of Pride that takes over the intersection of 20th & K Streets. This festival brings top notch live entertainment and local vendors together for a celebration of Sacramento’s LGBTQIA+ community to raise public awareness and funds for LGBTQIA+ charitable organizations. Learn More

 

Find more events

 

LGBTQIA+ Resources

Sacramento LGBT Community Center: The Sacramento LGBT Community Center creates events, programs, and pathways to services that help lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people feel welcome, needed, and safe. The Center’s website provides several links to community resources including Advocacy, Arts and Culture, Community, Social, Health & Wellness, and more.

Rainbow Chamber: The Sacramento Rainbow Chamber has a member directory of LGBTQ-owned and ally-owned businesses in Sacramento. If you are looking to support these businesses that give back to our community check out the directory!

Visit Sacramento: Visit Sacramento has featured LGBTQ+ friendly itineraries, blogs, and more for visitors and residents alike.

One Community Health: One Community Health is a non-profit health care provider serving the needs of the Sacramento Community. The center is a proven leader in LGBTQ health issues, including HIV and AIDS health issues, and is regarded as a safe space for LGBTQ community members to receive healthcare.

Outword Magazine: Outward Magazine is the leading LGBTQ magazine for Central and Northern California. For over 25 years, they have been producing content for queer locals that includes local queer news, events, and highlights of community members.

 

Come see Lavender Heights for yourself and tag @exploremidtown on social media! Make sure to also check out our LGBTQIA+ Business Guide and support LGBTQIA+ owned businesses in Midtown!

10 Reasons Why You Should Live in Midtown

 A walk in the neighborhood has a whole new meaning when you live in Midtown. Living in Midtown means being a short walkable distance to restaurants. It means the Farmers Market is often your grocery store. It means brunch on weekends. And that coffee shops are often also your office. The perks of being a Midtown resident are endless.

Here are our top 10 reasons why you should live in Midtown!

1. Foodie haven

         

 There is a reason Sacramento is known for being the farm-to-fork capital! From mouth watering brunch (check out our blog on our Favorite Brunch Places in Midtown), to fresh and locally sourced entrees, to several  amazing dessert shops to satisfy any sweet tooth, Midtown is bursting at the seams with talented restaurants and cooks. Foodies are in absolute heaven when visiting the grid.

2.  Endless coffee chops

When you live in Midtown the neighborhood coffee shops are often an extension of your office. I mean, what is a city without some great coffee shops?! If you’re looking for a coffee place in Midtown, we got you covered, read our blog on Iconic Coffee Shops so you can become a Midtown coffee connoisseur.

3. The Midtown Farmers Market is in your backyard

Not to brag, but Midtown has one of the most impressive Farmers Markets in California, spanning more than five blocks and featuring more than 160 plus vendors. Who needs Walmart or Safeway when you can stroll down to the Farmers Market every Saturday to get fresh vegetables, home-made bread and the most gorgeous flowers to place on your kitchen table.

To make the most of your visit at the Farmers Market, you’ll want to check out our blog that has everything you need to know about the Midtown Farmers Market!

4. Beautiful parks & free workout classes

How great and safe a community is, can often be measured by their public parks. Midtown Parks features six beautiful parks (Fremont Park, Winn Park, Sutter Park, Truitt Park, Marshall Park and Muir Park) complete with beautiful art and engaging programming.

How many cities can you say offer free park programming almost every day throughout the Summer? Read about our Fresh Air: Fremont Park series to learn more about our everyday exercise programming at Fremont Park. Or plan to visit Winn Park on Wednesday to find great local artisan and food vendors, live music, yoga and yummy food trucks (pssst I heard that sometimes they even have a wine garden!) Learn more about all our parks at MidtownParks.org.

5. Walk & bike everywhere

Sacramento is one of California’s most accessible major cities, and Midtown in particular provides many different options from scootering to biking that make traveling to and around our central city effortless.

Read our transportation blog for more tips and information on how to travel the grid like a pro!

6. Fun nightlife

How many cities can you say have a bar inside a pink Victorian house? Whether you are partying in the Golden Hub or the Lavender Heights District or perhaps catching some live entertainment in the Sutter District we have unique bars and fun nightlife that make Sacramento an exciting place to go out on the town. Time to dial up your besties for a night of dancing!

7. Art around every corner

It is impossible to drive down a street in Midtown and not spot a beautiful mural on the outside of a building or even in unexpected places like an electrical box.

Initiatives like Art in Unexpected Places and Wide Open Walls have made Midtown a destination for art lovers and artists. The art not only beautifies our city, it helps represent our diversity and culture in Sacramento.

8. Dog friendly

How does the saying go? Happy dog, happy life? Living in Midtown is a dog’s dream, complete with dog friendly patios, events like the Pooch Parade that highlight our cute puppies and of course our favorite dog park: The Truitt Bark Park.

9. Midtown Love

     

 In Midtown we like to use the phrase Midtown Love, which means being in action to actively celebrate, include, and proudly protect our fellow community members. In Midtown we have no place for prejudice, sexism, racism or bigotry. We only have space for learning, love and inclusivity. You’ll often see our banners hung up on our light poles in Midtown that showcase our commitment to diversity and inclusion. Learn about other ways we are spreading love in the grid in our DEI blog!

10. A city lifestyle that you can afford

For many living in a city is a pipe dream because of how expensive big cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Jose have become in recent years. Living in Midtown is the perfect balance of city and suburban … and you’re bound to see many Victorian homes living in Midtown too!

Now that you know the perks of living in Midtown are endless; click any of the available properties in Midtown below to find your next home.

Follow us on @exploremidtown to find new happenings, businesses and events happening in Midtown! If you #exploremidtown remember to tag us, we may share your photo on our social media!

Make the Most of Your Visit to the Midtown Farmers Market

Is it just us, or does food taste better when it’s from the farmers market? More than 160 vendors line the streets of Midtown every Saturday morning for the Midtown Farmers Market. Home to fresh produce, artisan goods, and prepared food, the Midtown Farmers Market hosts the largest variety of vendors in Sacramento and consistently earns recognition as one of the best farmers markets in Sacramento and California. Located in the heart of Midtown’s Lavender Heights historic district, this area is filled with bar and club goers until 2:00 a.m. and starting the next morning at sunrise. It is also home to the ultimate Sacramento Farm-to-Fork experience.

During your next stroll through the market, make the most of your visit by experiencing all that the market has to offer.

All your grocery shopping (and then some!)

 Whatever your grocery list calls for on Saturday morning, you’re sure to find it at the market:

  • Fruits and veggies: From tomatoes and peaches to potatoes and squash, the market has your favorite seasonal and locally sourced produce year-round.
  • Meat, seafood, milk, and eggs: Skip the grocery store and pick up your meat cuts where they’re freshest and local.
  • Baked goods: Whether you’re bringing a pie to the potluck or are in need of a sweet treat, the market hosts over 10 vendors who specialize in baked goods.
  • Flowers: Brighten up your home or surprise a loved one with premade bouquets and individual bunches, picked locally. Many vendors even let you make a bouquet on site!
  • Handmade goods: Artisan vendors make the market special by offering handmade items like art, jewelry, soap, pottery, and more.

Come hungry!

 The rule of thumb when shopping for groceries — never shop on an empty stomach. Luckily, the market hosts a variety of food trucks with delectable bites like stroopwafels from Dutchman’s Stroopwafels, tacos from Gondo Fusion and La Minerva, and more. Come hungry, leave with a full stomach and a full grocery bag.

Bring your furry friends along

Don’t leave your dog (or cat) behind; we love meeting your pets out at the market each weekend and we’re pretty sure they love meeting each other too. Pet treats are for sale on site and, trust us, your pup will find their way to get free samples from these spots. (Dogs are prohibited from inside certified producer tent spaces.)

Make a day out of your visit

The market is located at the intersection of 20th and K streets in Midtown, which puts you within walking distance from hundreds of Midtown’s local businesses. Here are some ideas to help you plan a whole day around your market visit:

Shop confidently with EBT

The market prioritizes food accessibility by partnering with a local non-profit organization, Alchemist CDC and sponsor Sutter Health, which provides residents access to EBT benefits for use on locally grown produce and grocery items. Alchemist CDC also offers a Market Match program, an incentive, and bonus to EBT recipients to double their market dollars up to $10 every week.

Strike a pose with the iconic Midtown Farmers Market sign

Did you really go to the Midtown Farmers Market if you didn’t take a picture with the iconic market sign? Snap a photo with the market sign and tag @MidtownFarmersMarket on Instagram or use the hashtag #MidtownFarmersMarket for a chance to be featured.

Listen to local music while you shop

Enjoy being serenaded during your market stroll in the market square with live music from local artists, thanks to SMUD!

Get around like a local 

Transportation and parking options can seem overwhelming, but there are endless options to make your visit to Midtown easy and help you get around like a local:

  • Sacramento Regional Transit: SacRT is now offering SmaRT Ride, a shuttle service that comes to you.
  • Bike & Scooter Share: Get around quick and easy with Lime. Pay as little as $1 to get to your destination on two wheels.
  • GIG Carshare: Open the GIG app, reserve the nearest GIG car, and get to your next destination.
  • Driving & Parking: Reserve a parking spot in advance, find the closest parking garage, pay for parking online, and more through the City of Sacramento’s parking services.
  • Rideshare: Get dropped off directly at the market with Uber or Lyft.

Grab your grocery list, reusable bag, and furry friends, and we’ll see you on Saturday! For more Midtown Farmers Market information, click here or follow along on Instagram: @MidtownFarmersMarket