LEWES Farmers’ Market is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a party in the middle of the town on Saturday... and everyone’s invited.

Naturally, high-quality locally produced food and drink is on the menu, including lunchtime takeaway treats and even a gin bar.

There’ll be live music as well.

Everything takes place on Saturday on Cliffe High Street in Lewes.

The market starts at 9am and - because it’s a special occasion - will remain open until 3pm, two hours longer than usual, offering the perfect opportunity to enjoy a locally-sourced lunch.

Lewes Farmers’ Market was originally a monthly event when it started in 1998 at the beginning of the modern Farmers’ Market revival.

The basic principles have remained unchanged since it opened, with farmers and other food producers selling directly to customers.

Everything is managed by Common Cause, a local not-for-profit social enterprise.

“All the food is fully traceable and freshly produced,” said Common Cause director Topsy Jewell.

““Not only do we check all the stall holders and visit local farms but customers can talk to the producers as well.

“Selling direct is better for everyone because there’s less transport, less handling, less refrigeration and less packaging.

“Ultimately, shoppers have a closer relationship with their suppliers and more money stays in the local economy.

“And with up to 3,000 visitors at a Saturday market in Lewes, other local businesses benefit from the influx of shoppers.”

Although Farmers’ Markets are often seen as food-centred events, they’re equally important for generating a community spirit.

Markets bring customers and suppliers together, linking people from rural and urban backgrounds.

They create local employment, they maintain social connections, they build professional relationships and they encourage visitors to return.

There are now two Farmers’ Markets every month in Lewes, on the first and third Saturdays from 9am until 1pm.

You’ll find different food producers at both markets; the first market has a well-established group of regular stallholders whilst smaller, younger businesses are often invited to join the second monthly market for a few weeks to promote their products.

There are now two Farmers’ Markets in Lewes every month, on the first and the third Saturday, with some different producers at each event. The first monthly market features better established food producers.