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La Jolla Open Aire Market

La Jolla Community, News | 9th Nov 2012

La Jolla Open Aire Market was started by Sherry Ahern, a community activist and a former LJES (La Jolla Elementary School) mom. In 1996, she had 2 kids enrolled at this school. She was also part of the school’s fundraising group. Later on, she became the president of the fundraising group. By that time, she got the idea of an open air market. She was motivated to start the market because she wanted to fund a librarian and a library for LJES. The school’s library only had a small book collection and was accommodated in the auditorium.

In 1998, Sherry Ahern saw her dream come true. She was helped by the Friends Board, the local community groups and the Unified School District in San Diego. La Jolla Elementary School hosted the first market that took place on October 25th, 1998. It featured 1 artisan and 14 farmers. Throughout the years, the market has grown and now it is a vibrant and popular community event. Every Sunday it attracts more than 100 vendors. Darcy Young, the current Market Manager, was also a mom and a member in the school’s fundraising group. She was a volunteer for 6 months and she has been a Market Manager for a decade. Darcy and Sherry are actively involved in this business and they work hard to improve and promote the market. Over the years, the La Jolla Open Aire Market has obtained funds for various school programs and improvements such as instructional supplies, extra teachers for 5th and 4th grades, nurse, technology, music, art and a librarian.

La Jolla Open Aire Market takes place every Sunday, in the upper playground on Genter Street and Girard Avenue, at La Jolla Elementary School. The event starts at 9 am and lasts until 1 pm. In time, this has become one of San Diego’s largest farmers market. The main attractions of the market are the stands with flowers and fresh vegetables and fruits grown by the local farmers. There is also a special food court featuring delicious meals including BBQ, desserts, lemongrass chicken, healthy crepes, waffles and Mexican food. Local artisans are also part of La Jolla Open Aire Market. They sell unique treasures, artworks, French linens, artisan jewelry, hats and clothing. The entertainment is provided by bands that sing live music. In addition, the children can have fun, play and run on the grass field and the school playground. Moreover, families can enjoy free activities every 3rd Sunday.

Besides weekly and monthly events, La Jolla Open Aire Market also features annual events such as the Spring Egg Hunt, taking place around Easter. There is also the Market Anniversary and the Harvest Festival in October and the Wine and Art Festival that also takes place in October. Through the events, local vendors and principles, La Jolla Open Aire Market is promoting a green and healthy lifestyle and it’s also making the community of La Jolla friendlier and more colorful. This weekly event will certainly be a blast for both tourists and locals.

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