March Winter Farmer Market

Join us for the 12th annual Springfield Holiday Farmers Markets, and bonus Winter Markets, now at the State House Inn in Downtown Springfield! Start a tradition and shop locally for fresh ingredients and unique gifts that will make all your holiday gatherings merry and bright.

Holiday & Winter Farmers Markets
State House Inn
101 E. Adams Street, Downtown Springfield
9am – 1pm

Saturday, November 17th
Saturday, December 22nd
Saturday, January 19th
Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, March 16th
Saturday, April 20th

Shoppers can expect to find more than 30 vendors selling farm-fresh fare including sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, winter squash, sunchokes, fresh greens and salad mixes, kale, pecans, honey, apples, apple cider, cheese, pastured pork and poultry, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, local lamb, holiday hams, and Thanksgiving turkeys! Plus baked goods, pies, gingerbread men, cookies, jams, jellies, and spices.

Kids activities will be provided by Slow Food Springfield and hot lunch featuring farm fresh ingredients will be available for purchase from Smart Natured.

Thank you to our sponsors, Growing Hope Globally, The State House Inn, and Slow Food Springfield for making these events possible!

February Winter Farmer Market

Join us for the 12th annual Springfield Holiday Farmers Markets, and bonus Winter Markets, now at the State House Inn in Downtown Springfield! Start a tradition and shop locally for fresh ingredients and unique gifts that will make all your holiday gatherings merry and bright.

Holiday & Winter Farmers Markets
State House Inn
101 E. Adams Street, Downtown Springfield
9am – 1pm

Saturday, November 17th
Saturday, December 22nd
Saturday, January 19th
Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, March 16th
Saturday, April 20th

Shoppers can expect to find more than 30 vendors selling farm-fresh fare including sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, winter squash, sunchokes, fresh greens and salad mixes, kale, pecans, honey, apples, apple cider, cheese, pastured pork and poultry, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, local lamb, holiday hams, and Thanksgiving turkeys! Plus baked goods, pies, gingerbread men, cookies, jams, jellies, and spices.

Kids activities will be provided by Slow Food Springfield and hot lunch featuring farm fresh ingredients will be available for purchase from Smart Natured.

Thank you to our sponsors, Growing Hope Globally, The State House Inn, and Slow Food Springfield for making these events possible!

January Winter Farmer Market

Join us for the 12th annual Springfield Holiday Farmers Markets, and bonus Winter Markets, now at the State House Inn in Downtown Springfield! Start a tradition and shop locally for fresh ingredients and unique gifts that will make all your holiday gatherings merry and bright.

Holiday & Winter Farmers Markets
State House Inn
101 E. Adams Street, Downtown Springfield
9am – 1pm

Saturday, November 17th
Saturday, December 22nd
Saturday, January 19th
Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, March 16th
Saturday, April 20th

Shoppers can expect to find more than 30 vendors selling farm-fresh fare including sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, winter squash, sunchokes, fresh greens and salad mixes, kale, pecans, honey, apples, apple cider, cheese, pastured pork and poultry, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, local lamb, holiday hams, and Thanksgiving turkeys! Plus baked goods, pies, gingerbread men, cookies, jams, jellies, and spices.

Kids activities will be provided by Slow Food Springfield and hot lunch featuring farm fresh ingredients will be available for purchase from Smart Natured.

Thank you to our sponsors, Growing Hope Globally, The State House Inn, and Slow Food Springfield for making these events possible!

2018 Record Breaking Season for Old Capitol Farmer’s Market

The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market celebrated its 19th season as a DSI program in 2018, with record breaking attendance and sales. From mid-May through October, each Wednesday & Saturday morning, the market is held on Adams Street and 4th. It boasts a total of 70 different vendors throughout the season, selling a wide variety of locally-grown and hand-crafted products, contributing to the economic, environmental and social well-being of downtown as well as the entire Springfield community.

This past summer season was the third year that DSI has partnered with Illinois Stewardship Alliance to manage the day-to-day market operations, and Springfield Area Arts Council to program the music. We are also indebted to our premier sponsor, HSHS St. John’s Hospital, plus supporting partners which include Central Baptist Church, The Dinges Family, Chef Michael Higgins, Springfield Youth Performance Group, Midwest Family, the Kidzeum, SpringfieldMoms.org and many more entities and individuals.

“The Market is a celebration of everything that is Springfield, and the partners are really proud of it,” says Market Manager Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant. “Shoppers can find everything from green zebra-striped heirloom tomatoes specially bred to thrive in this region, to homemade blueberry donuts made by local bakers using blueberries grown in the Springfield area. But the market is so much more than a great place to shop; it’s also a great investment in the community.”

2018 Season by the numbers:

  • NEW record: 65,856 total adult and child visitors (10% increase!)
  • NEW record: $23,377 spent by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) customers to increase their healthy food intake (43% increase!)
  • NEW record: $11,839 Credit/Debit transactions at the Market Booth (13% increase!)
  • 60 Local & Family-Owned Businesses
  • your Farmers Market food traveled 38.9 miles to get to you
  • 30% Women-Owned Businesses
  • 1733 lbs of fresh produce donated

The economic impact on Springfield is easy to see. According to the National Farmers Market Coalition, sales at locally owned businesses infuse three times more back into the local economy than chain retailers.

Download the visual 2018 OCFM Impact Report.

All Incomes Being Able to Buy

This year, the Market was able to match $10,932 of the SNAP sales thanks to Link-Up Illinois Grant offered by Experimental Station, for a total of $23,377 dollars that went directly back into the pockets of local farms and businesses. The SNAP Match program ensures that families of all income levels across Springfield have access to fresh, wholesome food and that SNAP dollars stay local. This year a new partnership with the

Junior League of Springfield helped increase the capacity for staffing, program planning, and data collection for the SNAP program.

Thanks to a new program in partnership with GenHKids, during 10 Market dates from July 25th – Oct. 3rd, farmers were able to provide 1,733 pounds of fresh produce for low-income families throughout Springfield, furthering the Market as a driver of social good.

Downtown restaurants shop weekly at the Farmers Market.

Economic Spillover for Downtown Revitalization

The #AdamsFamily continues to grow, thanks to the foot traffic created by the Farmers Market and the ability for entrepreneurs to test out their products and grow a fan base. Two 2017 vendors made the move to new brick-and-mortar homes on Adams Street in 2018: Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. and the Itty Bitty Fashion Truck.  Custom Cup Coffee also celebrated its final season selling at the Market, having started as a vendor several years ago and now running a thriving brick-and-mortar location on Monroe.

More Fresh Than Anywhere

Environmentally, farmers and food vendors at the Market travel 38.9 miles one way to bring their products to market, a carbon footprint that is significantly less than that of food on grocery shelves, which travels an average of 1200 miles. Market staff inspect new farm vendors to verify that all products are grown by the farmers and not purchased from wholesale auctions or out-of-state, ensuring that all dollars stay local and truly support area family farms. We work hard so that you can trust that our market is truly “local” and “fresh.”

Award-Winning

The Market remains one of the most popular attractions in downtown. This year, the Market received three accolades: Best Fresh Produce and Best Weekend Activity by the State Journal-Register, and Best Free Entertainment by Illinois Times. According to visitor counts recorded in 2018, 65,856 total adult and children visited the market (an average of 2,634 each Saturday) with a record-shattering 7,299 patrons on opening day, Saturday, May 19.

Chef demonstrations, educational displays by partners, and family fitness programs make the Market more than just a place to shop. St. John’s Hospital offered free health screenings, and a number of community groups offered services, such as free books from the Land of Lincoln Book Share, meditation with the Student Yoga and Mindfulness Project, and a weekly Local Business tent we added as another form of community collaboration.

We also would like to thank the City of Springfield Office of Public Works for helping ensure the safety of the streets where the Market comes alive every single week and the Convention & Visitors Bureau for promoting it to our city’s visitors.

What’s Next for the Market?

Fortunately for Springfield, the final Holiday Market takes place at the State House Inn at 2nd and Adams on December 22, and a Winter Market will take place there once a month from January – April. For a full schedule, see our calendar of events.

Next year we’ll celebrate our 20th year! Contact us if you want to be involved as a sponsor or a community group.

 

November Holiday Farmer Market

Join us for the 12th annual Springfield Holiday Farmers Markets, and bonus Winter Markets, now at the State House Inn in Downtown Springfield! Start a tradition and shop locally for fresh ingredients and unique gifts that will make all your holiday gatherings merry and bright.

Holiday & Winter Farmers Markets
State House Inn
101 E. Adams Street, Downtown Springfield
9am – 1pm

Saturday, November 17th
Saturday, December 22nd
Saturday, January 19th
Saturday, February 16th
Saturday, March 16th
Saturday, April 20th

Shoppers can expect to find more than 30 vendors selling farm-fresh fare including sweet potatoes, carrots, radishes, turnips, winter squash, sunchokes, fresh greens and salad mixes, kale, pecans, honey, apples, apple cider, cheese, pastured pork and poultry, free-range eggs, grass-fed beef, local lamb, holiday hams, and Thanksgiving turkeys! Plus baked goods, pies, gingerbread men, cookies, jams, jellies, and spices.

Kids activities will be provided by Slow Food Springfield and hot lunch featuring farm fresh ingredients will be available for purchase from Smart Natured.

Thank you to our sponsors, Growing Hope Globally, The State House Inn, and Slow Food Springfield for making these events possible!

Old Capitol Farmers Market Official Ribbon Cutting Season 2018

Voted Best Community Event, Best Weekend Activity and Best Fresh Produce! The Old Capitol Farmers Market kicks off the 2018 season with its first Saturday thanks to premier sponsor HSHS St. John’s Hospital. Rain or shine, the Market goes through October 28, 2018 where we host the popular Halloween at the Market costume contest & activities.

You are invited to our Grand Opening Ceremony at 10:30 am at the intersection of 4th and Adams with Invited Guests and a performance by Springfield Youth Performance Group, followed by complimentary cake from Incredibly Delicious for market patrons PLUS:

9 am
Free Family Fitness workout provided by downtown fitness studio Pure Performance

10 am
Chef Demonstration by Chef Michael Higgins of Maldaner’s

10 am – Noon
Music programmed by Springfield Area Arts Council: Rachel Rambach, a local pop singer-songwriter

The Biggest Downtown Weekend of the Year

Used by permission of the Old Capitol Art Fair Committee.

Downtown has a lot of great festivals (one of them being DSI’s Amaranth Apple Fest) and great weekends, but one could argue that this weekend is THE BIGGEST WEEKEND of the year in Downtown Springfield. Throw together the state’s largest outdoor art festival, drag queens, fresh produce and a race of pink-adorned people — not to mention downtown’s shops, restaurants and bars — and you could literally spend every few hours doing something new, fun and fresh. And not even spend as much as you would during a day at a theme park!

To help you plan your weekend adventure, here are the links to the most popular events taking place on Saturday and Sunday plus a map of the street closures.

Looking for what to do tonight? Check out our event calendar>

Old Capitol Farmers Market – Official Ribbon Cutting & Cake

Saturday 8 am – 12:30 pm at 4th and Adams

The first Saturday of Springfield’s “Best Community Event” includes performances by Springfield Youth Performance Group, a free community workout by Pure Performance, a chef demonstration by Maldaner’s chef Michael Higgins, music by Rachel Rambach and complimentary cake for all patrons thanks to vendor and downtown restaurant Incredibly Delicious.

Old Capitol Art Fair

Saturday 10 am – 5 pm and Sunday 10 am – 4 pm around the Old State Capitol at 5th and Washington

Whether you are a serious art collector or are just developing an appreciation, there is original art here for you, in the form of jewelry, sculpture, photography, glassware, pottery, wood, metalwork, oils, watercolors, and other media.

Springfield Pridefest

Saturday 11:30 am – 10 pm at 4th and Capitol

This street fair embraces diversity and celebrates the Central Illinois LGBTQ community with a parade, children’s area and main stage. Plus two drag queen contests and karaoke!

Susan G Komen 5K Race for the Cure

Saturday 5 pm – 9:30 pm at 2nd and Capitol

This popular race to fight breast cancer celebrates its 5th year in Springfield, with a 5k and 1k and pink fireworks at the end of the night.

Old Capitol Farmers Market

The first Wednesday of the 2018 Market season. Springfield’s longest-running and most popular Farmers Market in beautiful #downtown Springfield. Open between May-October 8 a.m. -12:30 p.m.

3rd Annual Friends of the Market Street Dinner

Tickets on sale soon!

Celebrate the immense bounty of the Old Capitol Farmers Market with DSI’s 3rd Annual Friends of the Market Street Dinner, under the fall constellations at community tables placed on the Old State Capitol Plaza.

Our best local chefs skilled in farm-to-table cuisine will pair with vendors from the Market to prepare four wonderful courses with wine pairings.

All of the funds raised at the Dinner go to costs incurred in managing the market, including marketing,

staffing, providing games and giveaways, organizing the fitness and chef demonstrations, answering day-to-day questions from customers and vendors and farm visits to make sure everyone is truly selling locally produced, fresh food.

We’ll be posting the menu, including a vegetarian version, very soon! Check out all of the photos from last year’s amazing dinner.

 

Our Farmers Market is Epicenter of Eat Local Challenge

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.

Emily and Chef Corey from Long Nine Junction are one of four chef teams providing a course at the Street Dinner.

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? 

Thursday, September 7: Downtown Springfield Inc. Friends of the Market Street Dinner

Thursday, September 14: Slow Food Springfield Tour of Petersburg Poultry Processing

Thursday, September 21: Local Flavors Dinner at Engrained Brewing Company

Sunday, September 24: Illinois Stewardship Alliance Annual Harvest Celebration

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