Everyone’s favorite place for the Treats part of the Trick-or-Treat equation! Local organizations and businesses combine efforts to create FREE, fun-filled activities for the whole family, including children and dog costume contests, hands-on activities, and special guests.
This festive event wraps up the 2017 market season. The stage will be centered at the intersection of 4th and Adams Streets and the children’s activities will be held in the US Bank parking lot.
Representatives from Bank of Springfield, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, Kidzeum of Health and Science Children’s Museum, Mid-West Family Broadcasting, Springfieldmoms.org, Illinois Humane, Springfield Youth Performance Group, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, New York Life, and Downtown Springfield, Inc. are all involved in making a spooktacular experience!
September is one of the most abundant months of the year for Illinois farmers, featuring warm season crops like tomatoes and melons alongside cool weather crops like lettuce, apples, and winter squash.
However, the return of school session, cooling temperatures, and an increasing disconnect between shoppers and seasonality have all led to a drop off in farmers market attendance during this month. The resulting decline in sales increases food waste and weakens the economic viability of small farms before entering their slower winter months.
“There is such a wide variety of products this time of year,” says Molly Gleason of the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA has managed the Market on behalf of DSI for the past two years), “and because the harvest is so plentiful in September, it’s also one of the most affordable times to shop locally. Plus there’s all kinds of varieties and flavors that you won’t find in the grocery store, like baby fairytale eggplants and green striped zebra tomatoes. It’s really one of the best months to shop at your farmers market.”
The Eat Local Challenge, organized by ISA in partnership with farmers markets across central Illinois, aims to combat the annual slump in sales that farmers experience during the month of September by encouraging shoppers to pledge to buy locally.
All you have to do to participate in the Eat Local Challenge campaign is to pledge to spend $20 each week on locally grown food. Last year, the first year of the campaign, over 250 people took the Challenge across Central Illinois. This year ISA hopes to have 500 participants, which would mean at least $40,000 in sales of locally-grown food for the Central Illinois region.
Did you realize: if even half of the shoppers just at our Market participated, we would have over 2000 participants this year??
Registration for the Eat Local Challenge will open THIS SATURDAY during National Farmers Market Week. You can register in person by visiting the Market Booth at 4th and Adams or any Central Illinois residents can sign up online at www.buyfreshbuylocalcentralillinois.org.
The first 250 participants will receive a free, USA made, farmers market tote bag filled with more information on shopping locally—available at the Market in September. Additionally, all Challenge participants will be subscribed to a weekly e-newsletter featuring seasonal recipes, farmers market meal plans, storage and food preservation tips, and updates on local food events going on throughout the region.
“September isn’t the winding down of the farm, it’s the full throttle peak season for us. We have tended our land and crops for six months getting to our grand finale and it’s disappointing when we have no one show up for our end of the year extravaganza,” says Jacque Suttill-Simpson of Suttill’s Gardens, a long-time Market vendor. “We farmers experience the ‘slump’ right when our best is yet to come.”
In addition to our Old Capitol Farmers Market, other participating markets include ones in Downtown Bloomington, Downs Village, Urbana, Champaign, the Peoria Riverfront, and Streator.
In addition to taking the Eat Local Challenge, how else can you support the Old Capitol Farmers Market and the farmers who sell their goods every week?
It’s back! The Top Reason to Go Downtown (as voted by Illinois Times readers) kicks off another summer season of locally produced, fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, flowers & more PLUS local artisans, musicians, and community groups. All of the fun and food is made possible by premier sponsor HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Follow the Market on Facebook for all of the glorious details.
Wonder what’s fresh for the 2017 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market? “Lettuce” tell you!
This market season–in addition to the fresh, local, in-season produce and value-added products you are used to–we’ll offer music, chef demos, family workouts, and more!
We’re so pleased that the great staff of Illinois Stewardship Alliance are once again managing the day-to-day operations of our Market, which was voted the #1 Reason to Come Downtown by Illinois Times readers last year. We’re also glad to welcome the Springfield Area Arts Council as a partner, who has lined up a whole season of Saturday music for you to shop by.
Join us Wednesday and Saturday mornings, from 8a – 12:30 pm, all spring and summer and fall, through Halloween at the Market on October 28.
ON SALE THIS WEEK
locally grown and delicious asparagus, cabbage, greens, leeks, lettuce, onions, peas, radishes, rhubarb, spinach, sprouts, squash, strawberries and tomatoes picked at peak ripeness by our fantastic growers
WED. MAY 17 ACTIVITIES
Enjoy a t-shirt tote-making station, a “pop-up Library” courtesy of Lincoln Library, and a 7:30 am group bike ride from Washington Park to the Market as part of “Curb your Car” week.
SATURDAY CRISS-CROSS LAYOUT
On Saturdays, the market goes all “cross-cross!” In addition to vendors on Adams Street from 3rd to 5th, our Market Advisory Committee suggested we ramp up the safety by closing the 4th Street “crossing” and host vendors on 4th Street as well, from the alley west of the USPS, to the alley west of Resource One. Patrons are invited to park for free again in the Resource One parking lot, entering using 3rd Street, on Saturdays only. The city parking garage at 4th and Washington will be open for $5 as well, accessible by Washington Street. Download the map>
SAT. MAY 20 ACTIVITIES
WNNS FM will be broadcasting live when the Market opens at 8 am.
At 9 am: You and the kids can participate in a free family workout hosted by the YMCA.
Or watch and learn how to prepare fresh whole food from Chef Higgins in the Hy-Vee Healthy Cooking Tent.
At 10:30 am, we’ll host our official ribbon cutting with Mayor Langfelder and the Iles Middle School marching band. Don’t forget to say hi to your favorite returning vendors and meet some new ones AND have a free piece of Opening Day Cake provided by Incredibly Delicious.
After the official ribbon cutting, From 10-noon, Mike Anderson will be serenading shoppers.
NEW SERVICE – CHEF CREATED, MARKET INGREDIENT, MEAL KITS!
Do you love a meal kit delivery service, but wish you could support local farmers while you eat it?! Have your rhubarb cake and eat it too by trying out the Farmers Market version prepared by Chef Ryan Lewis. On Saturday, May 27, he will have a take and make meal option for sale featuring herb roasted chicken and asparagus and sorrel salad with raspberry and rhubarb vinaigrette. For veggie lovers, he will have cornmeal pancakes and fried egg sauteed asparagus and radish with lemon and chive.
See you at the market!
The Old Capitol Farmers Market is sponsored by HSHS St. John’s Hospital and managed by Illinois Stewardship Alliance on behalf of Downtown Springfield Inc. Springfield Area Arts Council is partnering this year to provide live music on Saturdays.
Downtown Springfield, Inc.
3 W Old State Capitol Plaza, Suite 15
Springfield, IL 62701
P: (217) 544-1723