The Rail Yards Market
The Albuquerque Rail Yards Market opened for the first time on May 4, 2014, and it was no surprise the long anticipated event was well attended.
The market takes place in the renovated Blacksmith Shop in the Rail Yards in Barelas. The family-friendly event brings together food, music, dance, entertainment, arts and crafts and local growers for a community gathering.
For 2015, the Rail Yards Market will take place every Sunday, May through October 25, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There will be a special Holiday market on December 13 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Get your local handcrafted goods at the special market.
Find it on at 777 1st Street SW, between Lead and Bridge. From Bridge, go north, and from Lead, go south on 2nd Street, which funnels into 1st Street.
An important step in the overall redevelopment of the area, the Rail Yards Market takes place in the renovated Blacksmith Shop. With over 23,000 square feet, there will be plenty of space each week for the many vendors, artists, musicians, growers and organizers to set up shop.
Each Sunday, the market has a theme, such as Dia de los Muertos in October, and Solstice in June.
Parking at Rail Yards Market
There is plenty of parking at the market. A large lot directly in front of the market provides parking, and you'll find other smaller lots and on street parking nearby. Parking is free.
Biking is a great option, and with a Bike Valet just outside the doors, it's a popular choice. There is no charge for valet service, but tips are appreciated.
For those wheelchair bound or on scooters, there are no stairs. However, the surface in the parking lot is gravel, and inside the Blacksmith Shop, the flooring is old concrete and rail lines. It's accessible, but be careful.
Local growers that are found at other Farmers Markets can also be found at the Rail Yards, and as the growing season progresses, there will be more.
Bosque Baking Company
Other food vendors included the Bosque Baking Company, known for its fine artisan breads. It was just past noon and the baker was down to just three loaves of bread. For specialty foods, it's recommended you arrive at the market early for a wider array of choices.
Vendors are at the heart of the market. Specialty vendors such as the raw vegan chef Karen Hammer were on hand to do demos and discuss their work.
Demos are part of the market. On any given week, you'll find demonstrations on basket weaving, pottery throwing, seed planting, and even ideas on how to pack and store equipment.
Arts and crafts vendors can be found selling t-shirts, jewelry, soaps, candles, paintings and more.
Kids will enjoy the arts and crafts and special activities for them set up in the Children's Zone. Children can hand make their own maracas from recycled materials, learn how to make flowers from tissue paper, or discuss a local author's children book. The options change weekly, so be sure to check the calendar to see what's up.
Learn Arts and Crafts
The market features special activities, to include learning how to decoupage. Here, children learn the art of decoupage while their instructor looks on with a face painted in the calavera style.
Entertainment on Two Stages
Entertainment takes place on two stages. At the back of the market a large stage will feature local groups and artists such as Seth Hoffman and Jade Masque. At the smaller stage found at the market entry, a community stage features acts as well. On any given Sunday, you'll find acts such as Casa Flamenca, Warehouse 508, and even RYM Poetry.
Food Vendors at the Market
Food vendors can be found outside the market, where food trucks set up with a variety of dishes that bring the flavors of BBQ, Asia, New Mexico and other places to your plate. Inside the market at the rear, you'll find a seating area where you can enjoy your breakfast burrito or lunch. The seating area is beside the old blacksmith furnace, which provides a great ambience.
The market features curbside cuisine with food trucks parked just outside the entrance. You'll find breakfast burritos, Asian platters and more, so go hungry. You're bound to find something you'll want to try.
A Community Effort
The market is the result of the hard work of many community members who had the vision to see the yards brought back to life. A volunteer group worked to plan and execute the market so it could become a great place to go on any given Sunday. Local artisans, growers, cooks, musicians and other creatives who gather in the large space each week will connect with market goers face to face.
The Old Rail Yards
While at the yards, be sure to check out the other buildings. They're closed to the public, but it's easy to envision restaurants, art studios and other creative endeavours housed in these buildings. I hope it happens in the not too distant future.