In keeping with its tradition of "salesmanship and silliness," L.A.'s beloved Farmers Market celebrated its 75th birthday this week with a hokey card trick, homemade cupcakes, City Council proclamations and the horns of the USC Marching Band.
About 200 regulars, invited guests, and merchants past and present gathered under the clocktower at 8 a.m. (it didn't chime) to mark the official birthday of the market. Farmers Markets was an idea brought to wealthy landowner Earl Bell Gilmore in 1934 by two entrepreneurs, Roger Dahlhjelm and Fred Beck. According to Gilmore Co. executive Hank Hilty, farmers came because "their farms had failed, their businesses gone bust and their investments had vanished. It shouldn't have worked, but it did...because it was a plain good idea and a good place to be."