Begins Thursday, May 16, 5 to 9:30 p.m.
Want to see your friends this summer? On Thursday nights, they’ll probably be at Chefs’ Market in downtown Napa. Chefs’ Market is arguably the most well-loved, mid-week market in the state. Now in its 19th year, the Market is a free, weekly, outdoor street festival, featuring six blocks of family entertainment, three stages of music, a block-long farmers’ market, two chefs’ demonstrations, activities for the kids, arts and crafts, beer & wine, and more good food than you can shake a stick at.
“Two years ago, we added the ‘Truck Stop’ on Randolph, featuring food trucks, oven-baked pizza, NY style franks, and lots of other great food that people love,” said Julie Morales, Events Manager of the Downtown Napa Association, and the person most responsible for keeping Chefs’ Market fresh and interesting every year. “Last year it was bigger, and this year, we have even more in mind.”
“More” is the key word that drives Morales. Chefs’ Market has always been for the community, but Morales has cooked up new ways to help Napa’s non-profits.
“We always offer booth space to non-profits,” said Morales. “This year, we’ve added programs to help as many as possible.” Four groups will take turns operating one of the beer booths, with each group taking the lion’s share of the profits from that night’s sales. Napa Kiwanis, Napa Rotary, COPE Family Services, and the Napa Public Library are the featured groups. Stop by for a glass of wine or beer and you are helping their cause.
Additionally, each week a different non-profit will run a booth in the Family Entertainment area in Coombs Plaza. They’ll be there to both introduce themselves to the community and to provide arts and crafts for kids attending the Market. Each non-profit will receive a $100 check from Red Dragon Martial Arts, a sponsor of the Market. Other support for the Family Entertainment area comes from Napa Pediatric Dentistry.
The only time Morales thinks “Less” is when it comes to garbage, which the Market organizers want to keep to a minimum. “We have a ‘GO GREEN’ Team in place again this year,” said Morales. “Volunteer students at New Tech High have been acting as Recycling Educators, to help make sure that everything that can be recycled is.” If the New Tech students spot a young person who does an exemplary job of recycling, they will award that person a prize. If an adult is spotted doing an exceptional recycling job, that person will be eligible for a weekly drawing.
As last year, dogs are not allowed at Chefs’ Market. “We were a little nervous about how people would react to that one,” said Morales, “but people loved it. All summer long, people thanked us for making our events dog-free.”
Chefs’ Market would not be possible without the generous support from sponsors, including the The Napa Valley Marketplace, Blue Moon Brewery, Wells Fargo Bank, Kaiser Permanente, Team Superstores of Vallejo, KVYN and KVON, the Bohemian, and Xfinity.
The musical line-up alone is a good reason to come out this year. Opening night acts include Tia Carrol, always a crowd favorite.
Chefs’ Market is on First Street, from Main to Franklin. Parking and admission are free. The event is open to the public. The weekly entertainment and chefs’ demonstration schedule are on donapa.com. Chefs’ Market is every Thursday from May 16 through August 1, except for the 4th of July. Visit DoNapa.com for a weekly band and chefs’ demonstration schedule.