San Luis
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San Luis Obispo Farmer’s Market

Thursday nights are Farmers’ Market nights in San Luis Obispo, where as many as 20,000 shoppers — including Michelle Lewelling and her dog, Johnson — come in search of food, fresh produce and entertainment. (Mel Melcon / LAT)
With a prime location amid Central Coast farmland, the bounty varies by season but always includes the pick of local crops such as cherries, cucumbers, squash, nopales, nectarines and mushrooms. (Mel Melcon / LAT)
The apricots speak to one marketgoer, Syrus Lamberson, 4. The market is open from 6 to 9 p.m. with about 50 farmers and 70 other vendors participating. (Mel Melcon / LAT)
The fair-like atmosphere draws visitors from far distances to the college-town market, which began in 1983 and has served as a model for markets in other cities. (Mel Melcon / LAT)
There’s plenty to amuse the smaller set, should broccoli — even the freshest sort — not hold sway. Face painting, popcorn, puppet shows and pizza are also on the bill. (Mel Melcon / LAT)