There are at least four good reasons to be downtown between 10 am and 2 pm Wednesday. One, the return of Wednesday Farmers Markets. Two, a Pig Pickin’ courtesy of The Pit. (What goes better with fresh vegetables than, uh, pig?) Three, Old Habits is playing. Four, it’s in City Plaza, which — if you haven’t gotten down to see it yet — is a big downtown plus.

Oh, and make that five: Mayor Meeker’s remarks are at 11:15.

It’s all in the press blab from the Downtown Raleigh Alliance, which is copied below the fold.

From the Downtown Raleigh Alliance:


(RALEIGH — April 26, 2010) The Pit’s legendary Chef Ed Mitchell will begin barbecuing in City Plaza around 5 pm on Tuesday, April 27 in preparation of the Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market Pig Pickin’ Kickoff on Wednesday, April 28 from 10 am-2pm located in City Plaza on the 400 block of Fayetteville Street. The event will feature festivities that showcase eastern North Carolina’s culture, cuisine, and agriculture. Enjoy authentic whole-hog, pit-cooked barbecue prepared by Pitmaster Mitchell, learn barbecue secrets during Mitchell’s chef demonstration, listen to bluegrass music by Old Habits, and bring your kids for a family-friendly gardening activity organized by Advocates for Health in Action. The market opens at 10 am, but the official inauguration will begin at 11:15 am when Mayor Meeker rings the market’s opening bell—the farmers markets’ version of a ribbon cutting.

Schedule of Events (The Pit sandwiches will be available for sale during the market for $5 each.):
10 am: Market Opens
10:30-11:15: Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
11:15-11:30: Mayor Remarks
11:30-12:15: Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
12:15-12:45: Ed Mitchell Chef Demonstration
12:45-1:30: Bluegrass Music by Old Habits
2:00 pm: Market Closes

Market partner, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC), is helping to make the 2010 farmers market season possible and shares the market’s philosophy of encouraging healthy lifestyles. BCBSNC has partnered with Be Active North Carolina to offer market goers reusable shopping bags, provide education on the five components of physical fitness for adults, and offer free activities such as hula hooping, jumping rope, and skillastics (fitness game) on opening day. Be Active North Carolina will also provide information on their Movement for Motion program and will feature a raffle drawing for prizes.

Media sponsor, Curtis Media Group, will broadcast live from the market with radio jock Adam 12 from 96rock.

While at the market, shoppers can embrace green initiatives by signing up for the SmartCommute Challenge, a program aimed at reducing our carbon footprint.

The new market is a reinvention of its predecessor, the Moore Square Farmers Market. Its relocation to City Plaza in the 400 block of Fayetteville Street places the market in the heart of downtown activity. In addition to the new location, the market has a new name, new look, and new website, RaleighEatLocal.com. The market will feature the highest quality farmers and food artisans, and the 2010 season will feature food festivals, chef demonstrations, tastings, and weekly entertainment.

The Raleigh Downtown Farmers Market, a program of the Downtown Raleigh Alliance (DRA), strives to be a guiding force in shaping the environmental, social and financial health of downtown by bringing the highest quality local growers and food artisans together to the Raleigh Community. The farmers market contributes to the sustainability and success of downtown by serving as a community gathering place, a vehicle for a regional economy, and a center for fresh, local, and healthy food.

Shop at the Market for farm fresh fruits and vegetables, pork, beef, poultry, seafood, cheeses, jams and jellies, eggs, baked goods, plant starts, flowers, and more! Find a bounty of fresh, sustainably-grown produce and artisan food each Wednesday from April 28 through October 27 from 10 am-2 pm. Connect with your community farmers and choose local—it’s the healthiest and most nutritious way to eat. For more information, visit RaleighEatLocal.com.