Summer in the Square

Okay, we're pretty sure that Mother Nature's timing is a bit off. After all, why would she rain on her own parade to start off the city's week-long celebration of Earth Day with the inaugural Earth Market in Market Square? Still, we're not going to let a little slushy precip dampen our spirits because we're here to bring a little sunshine into your life with a preview of the upcoming — and an even bigger and better — 2012 schedule of summer events and attractions in the Square, that include old favorites and a few new twists.

One thing you can be sure of...we love the city life, especially in Market Square. But we can 't help but imagine we're walking down a country road each Thursday during the summer when we make our way to the Square for the weekly Farmers Market. This year, the Farmers Market sprouts up in the Square for the first time this year on Thursday, May 17 and continues on each week from 10 a.m. -2 p.m. right into November. We're still working on the last few details, but we can tell you that we're going to fill the Square with more vendors than ever before. In fact,  you could say that there will be a bumper crop for this year's Market.

Along with the Farmers Market, another thing you can count on finding — well, hearing, actually — in the Square is live music nearly every day of the week. Of course, the Thursday Noontime concerts will strike a familiar chord during the Farmers Market. But this year, the sounds of summer will resonate a bit longer as the concert schedule expands beyond the traditional June to August line-up. Stay tuned for a complete list of dates and performers, including a series of Friday evening shows. We promise to keep your toes tapping to the sounds of music right in to fall.

One of the big reasons for Market Square's recent success the past couple summers is also the reason why people throng to the Square all year long — the magnificent merchants who open their doors for business every day on the Square. This year, the Market Square Merchants Association will once again sponsor Mellow Mondays and Wednesday's Mid-Week Concerts with local and national acts from Noon- 1 p.m. And, since most of the MSMA members just happen to be in the restaurant business, the music is a perfect side dish to whatever you order — from a whooper of a Primanti's sandwich to a tasty pasta entree at Sienna on the Square.

Okay, so maybe you're looking for some quiet time in the Square. May we suggest that you visit the Tuesday Reading Room, sponsored by the Downtown branch of the Carnegie Library. Each Tuesday from 11 a.m.-2 p.m., the bookworms at the Library will load up their carts with best-sellers, self-help titles and dozens of other hardcover and paperback volumes to sell to anyone with an appetite for a good read. Anyone can buy a book or two, and every purchase will help benefit the Library. And, if you don't already have a Carnegie Library card, you can discover how to get one here. The Reading Room opens on Tuesday, May 15 and keeps on going each Tuesday through October 9.

Once school's out for the year, it's time for KidsPlay in the Square. This year, the popular kid-eriffic event changes days from Fridays, to Tuesday mornings. Each Tuesday from
10-11:30 a.m., little ones from all around flock to the Square for 90 minutes of storytelling, crafts, special demonstrations, special guests and special treats — all geared for the young and young at heart. The fun starts on June 5 and continues each Tuesday through August 21.

We hope this sneak peek at the coming events in the Square provided a bit of a silver lining behind the recent dark clouds. Because no matter the weather this week, summer is coming to the Square sooner than you think.

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