Music and food will fill Central Park on Wednesdays at the market

DAVIS – One of the rewards of daylight saving time is the annual return of Picnic in the Park, when the Davis Farmers Market extends its Wednesday hours, transforming into a festival of food, music and fun.

Picnic in the Park returns on Wednesday, March 14, at Central Park, 301 C St. New hours – 4:30 p.m. to sunset – have the event closing while there’s still daylight, so it’s easier and safer for people to pack up.

At Picnic in the Park, visitors can shop the farmers market, buy dinner at the food faire, visit Soroptimist International of Davis’ beer and wine garden, and entertain youngsters. Children’s entertainment includes the bicycle-powered carousel, two playgrounds, bounce houses, face painting, pony rides by Greenich’s Acres and balloon creations by Dilly Dally the Clown. For seven years straight, Davis Enterprise readers have voted the market as the best place in Yolo County to take an out-of-towner.

The Putah Creek Crawdads will open the season with its bluegrass music. The Davis Food Co-op sponsors live music each week, through Oct. 24. Local bands bring a wide variety of music to the event, including bluegrass, Americana, rock ’n’ roll, folk, blues, Dixieland, Big Band, rockabilly, dance music, R&B, world music, hip-hop and more, beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing until sunset. “When days are shorter in March and October, the market chose bands with more acoustic sounds,” Manager Randii MacNear said.

Food, drink and sweets vendors offer picnickers a wide array of specialties. Vendors include Zuma Poke, The Buckhorn, East-West Gourmet, G Street Grill, Gesche’s Gourmet, The Hotdogger, Kathmandu Kitchen, Montoya’s Tamales, Open Rice Kitchen, Raja’s Tandoor, Village Bakery pizza, Upper Crust Bakery, Davis Bread and Desserts, Ciocolat, Raffine Artisan Chocolates, Kettlepop and Bare Juices. Anticipated newcomers later in the spring include Botanik organic tea drinks, the organic ice cream shop The Good Scoop, and a coffee cart from Purple Tree Café, a nonprofit that employs and trains young adults with special needs.

Members of Soroptimist International of Davis offer three tap handles of Sudwerk beer, as well as a red and white wine hand-selected from four Yolo County wineries: Berryessa Gap, Putah Creek, Heringer Estates and Matchbook. All profits go toward its mission to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment. It also supports the Davis Farm to School program.

MacNear is excited about new patio seating, which gets an upgrade this year. The market has 30 new round tables, decorated with red-checkered tablecloths for a bistro feel. As the season warms up, some standing tables will be added as well.

The spring market will be packed with organic and conventional produce, artisan farm-fresh cheese, apple juice, olive oil, honey and flowers. Occasional craft booths are at the north end of the pavilion.

The Saturday market continues year-round from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Central Park. From November through early March, Wednesday hours are 3 to 6 p.m.

For more information, visit Davis Farmers Market on Facebook.

Entertainment Schedule

March 14: Putah Creek Crawdads (bluegrass)
March 21: Odd Man Out (’60s and ’70s rock)
March 28: Dave Klezmer Orchestra (folk)
April 4: Lisa Phenix & Steve Wall (folk/Americana)
April 11: Sticky Vikki & The Pinecones (rockabilly)
April 18: Tha Dirt Feelin’ (hip-hop/rock)
April 25: Ron Goldberg Quartet (folk rock)
May 2: Kindred Spirits (folk rock)
May 9: Hardwater (pop/rock/folk/blues)
May 16: Walkin’ the Dawg (rock ’n’ roll)
May 23: High Strung (bluegrass)
May 30: Anderson Gram Duo (folk/Americana)
June 6: The Hucklebucks (blues)
June 13: Acoustic S&M (folk/rock)
June 20: Frankie & The Fabletones (rock ’n’ roll oldies)
June 27: The Undulations (swing & Dixieland)
July 4: Event canceled for holiday
July 11: According to Bazooka (indie/folk/pop)
July 18: Lincoln Highway Band (classic country)
July 25: Blue Blazes (rockabilly blues)
Aug. 1: Cold Shot (dance party)
Aug. 8: North Country Blue (bluegrass)
Aug. 15: Que Bossa (Samba)
Aug. 22: Crazy Chester (’60s and ’70s rock)
Aug. 29: Guitar Mac & His Blues Express (blues)
Sept. 5: Red Dog Ash (bluegrass)
Sept. 12: It’s About Time (big band/swing)
Sept. 19: Sidetracked (eclectic folk)
Sept. 26: Hambone Slim & The Blues Dues (American roots)
Oct. 3: Pleasant Valley Boys (bluegrass)
Oct. 10: The Sharks (’60s rock)
Oct. 17: The Regal Beezers (jazz standards)
Oct. 24: The Notorious Shank Brothers (bluegrass)