The 2023 season of the Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market begins this Saturday, May 13 (always Mother’s Day weekend), in the parking lot at the corner of Landmarks Blvd. and Henry Street in downtown Alton, Ill., near Argosy Casino and Alton Marina’s riverfront.
The market will be in session, rain or shine, every Saturday morning from 8 a.m. until Noon through Oct 21.
Shoppers will find a wide selection of locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables including heirloom varieties and organically grown crops, along with grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, farm fresh eggs, local honey, hot and iced coffee, fresh bread and other baked goods, as well as ready to eat breakfast and lunch items. 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.
Special activities have been scheduled every week.
Opening day will feature a Community Yard Sale; space is still available and booth registration can be found on their website. On May 20, organizers will bring the circus to the market and introduce the Keep Alton Weird Sideshow. On May 27, attendees can enjoy a colorful Lion Dance with Iron Dragon Kung Fu School.
An abundance of great entertainment is in store this season, including live music, artist demonstrations, goat yoga, an Art Playday with Jacoby Arts Center, a big farm equipment day with the Madison County Farm Bureau, a return of the Canine Carnival to benefit Hope Rescues, and a monthly pop-up roller skating rink.
Alton Main Street has received a LinkUP Illinois grant to improve access to healthy food. Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits are accepted by most vendors, and recipients can receive a dollar for dollar match every time they swipe. Simply visit the information booth to use your card and double your buying power for fresh fruits and vegetables.
At the Markets, any products that are handmade by the vendor or homegrown within a 50-mile radius are welcome to be sold. New vendors are welcome; registration fees are $12 per week, and discounted seasonal rates are also available. Complimentary booth space is available for non-profit organizations, and any vendor up to 18 years of age receives their first week free to encourage our youth to try their hand as an entrepreneur. Anyone interested in becoming a vendor is encouraged to visit the Events page of www.DowntownAlton.com for full details and to register.
If you have children aged 5 to 15 who are aspiring artists and are reasonably independent, Jacoby Arts Center invites you to drop them off at the gallery located at 627 E. Broadway for their free Art Club. The kids can create from 10:30 a.m. until Noon every Saturday while you run down and shop the market!
This year marks the 31st season of the Alton Farmers’ & Artisans’ Market, organized by Alton Main Street as part of the organization’s efforts to revitalize the Downtown Alton historic district.
To receive reminders for what produce is in season as well as upcoming entertainment and activities, please follow on social media: Facebook.com/AltonFarmersMarket and Instagram.com/AltonFarmersMarket.