The Illinois Department of Agriculture will once again host its weekly Illinois Products Farmers' Market. The first market of the season will be held on Thursday, May 10th from 4 - 7 pm at The Shed on the Illinois State Fairgrounds. It will then be held each Thursday through October 11th (excluding the Illinois State Fair).
Once again, there will be an opportunity to enjoy free live entertainment each week while you shop for local Illinois products, and enjoy Illinois wine from the wine garden. Market-goers will experience a family friendly atmosphere with an array of vendors and a different food truck each week. The Illinois State Fairgrounds also offers ample free parking.
"This market is a great opportunity to come out and support local business, enjoy some live music, and discover local food trucks," says Erin Cleary, Bureau Chief of Marketing, Promotions, and Grants. "If each of the 4.7 million households in Illinois dedicate $10 of their existing weekly budget to purchasing Illinois products, we could generate $47 million one week for our state's economy."
Springfield Clinic will again serve as the title sponsors in 2018. The multi-specialty medical group will provide health and wellness information all market season long at their booth on the northwest corner in The Shed. Market-goers will have access to various specialists in diet and nutrition, sports medicine, women's health, cardiology, audiology, orthopedics and more. Springfield Clinic will also distribute its very popular healthy "recipe of the week" and offer numerous other promotions throughout the market season.
"Each year, Springfield Clinic looks forward to sponsoring the Illinois Products Farmers' Market and being part of the weekly market experience," said Springfield Clinic CEO Ray Williams. "We hope that by supporting the Illinois Department of Agriculture and the vendors who deliver fresh, whole and locally-sourced foods, we can help people live healthier lives. After all, that's been Springfield Clinic's commitment for nearly 80 years, and support of the Illinois Products Farmers' Market is one more way we deliver on that promise."
New at the Farmer's Market this year, there will be drawings for "Market Cash" each Thursday. Marketgoers can sign up to win $10 in "Market Cash" which can be spent there at the market; drawings will be held at 5:30 pm & 6:00 pm during each market.
Since it is our state's bicentennial year, commemorative bicentennial t-shirts will be available for purchase. In addition, various bicentennial wines will also make appearances at the market throughout the season.
All products sold at the Illinois Products Farmers' Market are processed, produced, and packaged by a vendor in the state of Illinois. Space is still available, if you are interested in participating as a vendor at the 2018 market. Applications can be found on our website, www.agr.state.il.us/nightmarket.