Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market returns for 25th season

The 2017 season of the Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market begins today, Saturday, which is earlier than usual, in the parking lot at the corner of Landmarks Boulevard and Henry Street through Oct. 14.

altonfarmersmarketThe market will operate every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. untilnNoon and on Wednesday evenings from 4 until 7 p.m.

The additional Night Market which began last year will be held on Thursday nights from 6 to 9 p.m starting June 1 through the end of September. This event is held in the warehouse behind Elijah P’s Burgers & Brews, located at 401 Piasa St. Shoppers and vendors will enjoy live music, food and beverages on the outdoor patio.

Shoppers will find a wide selection of locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, including heirloom varieties and organically grown crops. Produce will be available, along with grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, farm fresh eggs, local honey, hot or iced coffee, fresh bread and other baked goods. In addition, fresh cut flowers, potted plants, and a large assortment of hand-crafted artwork such as pottery, stained glass, soap, candles and woodworking items will be sold.

This year marks the 25th season of the Market, organized by Alton Main Street as part of the organization’s efforts to revitalize the Downtown Alton historic district. The events feature a variety of products that are handmade or homegrown within a 50-mile radius. New vendors are welcome; registration fees are $12 for Saturdays and $5 for either weeknight option. Discounted seasonal rates are also available.

Live entertainment, artist demonstrations and other special activities have been scheduled every Saturday throughout the season. Donation-based Yoga will be offered from 8:15 to 9:15 a.m. with River Bend Yoga instructor Tamika Jackson on most Saturdays.

The schedule is as follows:

5/13 – Power Wheels Derby Car Racetrack for kids
5/20 – Tailgate Sale with Alton Park & Recreation
5/27 – Dynamic Martial Arts demonstration
6/3 – Live Music From Number2Combo
6/10 – Artist Demo: Zentangle with Lynn Carter
6/17 – Artist Demo: Pottery Wheel with Jim Linksvayer
6/24 – Artist Demo: Painting with Brooke Lobb-Peipert
7/1 – Live Music From Hideous Gentlemen
7/8 – Punch and Judy Puppet Show with Blaque Berry Puppets
7/15 – Artist Demo: Coffee Painting with Eric Stauffer
7/22 – Christmas in July – visit with Santa while he’s on vacation from the North Pole!
7/29 – Artist Demo: Origami with Taeko Wogi
8/5 – Live Music From Happenstance – Celebrating National Farmers Market Week
8/12 – Artist Demo: Knitting with Sally Kirbach
8/19 – Artist Demo: Pottery Wheel with Bob Sancamper
8/26 – Pilates with Dr. Kristina Bemis at 10 a.m.
9/2 – Live Music From Nancy Lippincott & Friends
9/9 – Health Fair with Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation
9/16 – Shop the Market with Dr. Katie for healthy food prep tips
9/23 – Canine Carnival with SNIP Alliance
9/30 – Tailgate Sale with Alton Park and Recreation
10/7 – Live Music From The House Band
10/14 – Pumpkin painting with Party on Broadway

Alton Main Street aims to improve access to healthy food thanks to the Illinois EBT Wireless Project grant funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. SNAP benefits (formerly known as food stamps) will be accepted by many vendors. The goal is to boost the sale of Illinois-grown food and provide access to fresh produce to low-income residents by enabling Farmers’ Markets to accept federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits. Starting in July, Senior Services Plus will be distributing Senior Nutrition Coupons at the Saturday Market, which are vouchers for $25 worth of free produce to seniors 60+ who fit income guidelines.

For more information on that program, contact SSP at (618) 465-3298.

At the markets, anything homegrown or handmade by the vendor is welcome to be sold. Anyone interested in becoming a vendor is encouraged to visit the Events page of www.DowntownAlton.com to register. Pre-registration is not required, vendors simply show up one hour prior to start time to be directed to their booth space. You can receive reminders on what produce is in season, plus upcoming entertainment and activities at: facebook.com/AltonFarmersMarket or on the Twitter account @AltonMarket.

 – From the Illinois Business Journal

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