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Natural Awakenings Dallas -Fort Worth Metroplex Edition


Hoedown for the Dallas Farmers Market

The Friends for the Dallas Farmers’ Market is celebrating 17th years of presenting their annual fundraising event, and the Hoedown is particularly auspicious this year. Not only does it celebrate the Market’s 70th anniversary as Dallas’ landmark for the farm-to-market trade, it will be a tribute to the 1991 founder of the Dallas Farmers Market Friends, Ida Papert, who sadly, passed away in January.

Ida, or “Mama Ida” as she preferred to be called, was an early customer of the market, beginning her regular Saturday shopping there in 1953, as a young bride, moving to Dallas with her husband, Sam, and starting their family. Despite the growing number of grocery stores providing welcome convenience to families back then, Mama Ida never lost her taste for fresh, local foods and the farmers and vendors she grew to know personally over almost 60 years.

With the current local food movement, it’s hard to imagine that beginning around the 1980s, the Dallas Farmers’ Markets, like many others—were losing the interest of consumers to the warehouse-sized supermarkets selling produce from the four corners of the world. Then a group of concerned citizens saw in Ida Papert a larger-than-life personality that could be the force needed to save the market.

Since that first Hoedown in 1994, when the first dollars went toward a Junior Farmers program, the Dallas Farmers’ Market Friends have funded improvements such as the commercial kitchen in the resource center, A/V equipment for the popular cooking classes, tenting, signage, educational conferences for the market staff and myriad improvements that help the Dallas Farmers’ Market retain the undisputed title of “Queen Mum” of all Texas farmers’ markets.

For more information about the Friends of the Dallas Farmers Market and ticket information for the Hoedown, visit

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