Fresh Fridays: 5 weeks left


Northsiders at the Citiparks Northside Farmers Market. (Photo/Henry Clay Webster)

There are still five weeks left to check out Fresh Fridays at the Citiparks Northside Farmers Market.

If you haven’t stopped by, maybe it’s because you didn’t know that Fresh Fridays features musical entertainers, activities for the kids and special chef workshops.

A program of the Charm Bracelet Project, which is a network of local institutions and foundations, Fresh Fridays takes place between 4 to 6 p.m. every Friday from now until Sept. 3 in East Park. More than 20 vendors sell their produce prepared dishes at the event.

“The goal of Fresh Fridays is to promote healthy lifestyles through art, whether it is a musical performance, an art activity or a cooking demonstration,” said Mallory Laporte, a marketing and administrative assistant at the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, which sponsors the Charm Bracelet Project.

The cooking demonstrations are easily one of the more popular events at Fresh Fridays.

Every week, a new guest chef uses ingredients found mostly at the market to showcase a new recipe for eager onlookers.

“Last year, the chefs were from Northside restaurants,” Laporte said. “This year, we included a variety of talented chefs, such as a freelance food artist and students from Pitt’s Dietetics and Nutrition Program.”

The larger variety of chefs should give regulars from last year new ideas for the kitchen, Laporte said. This upcoming Friday, Aug. 6, will feature guest chef Shannon Pultz.

Other activities help promote the chef workshops, such as the Cookbook Project, in which several young women help customers make silk screens of the chefs’ various recipes. That project is a joint partnership between the Andy Warhol Museum and Artist Image Resource

Musical guests are also chosen based on their ability to reinforce Fresh Friday’s theme of healthy living.

Friday, Aug. 6 will feature the return of the KRUNK Movement, “a student-lead music … initiative that uses jazz, hip-hop, and dance to communicate positive messages [on] health,” Laporte said.

KRUNK Movement is a faith-based project affiliated with the Keystone Church of Hazelwood. The youth band has recorded quite a few songs of their own.

One of the Charm Bracelet Project’s primary goals is youth empowerment. Beside many youth performers, the farmers’ market employs four youth provided by the Pittsburgh Project. Their benefactors hope this will instill them with job skills.

Other institutions offer activities to prompt children to learn about healthy living.

The Children’s Museum, for instance, will showcase a small terrarium activity to peak kids’ interest in gardens during the next three weeks.

For a full list of Fresh Fridays activities and musical acts, check out Deutschtown’s website.

“The highlight of Fresh Fridays has been the community response. We’re introducing people to simple, healthy ideas. Our first week, the guest chef created Korean tofu wraps, and a large majority of visitors had never eaten tofu but really enjoyed it,” Laporte said. “It’s a great feeling introducing people to something new and knowing that something positive has come from it.”

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