Smile Politely

Market Watch: May 18, 2013

This week is looking to be a great Market week. Bike to the Market Month continues; there is a bike rodeo for kids scheduled; produce vendors will be out in full force; and Blood Services of Illinois will be on hand for a blood drive. The Market will also have yummy “eat here” options with a few food trucks and vendors offering nosh now choices. The best way to eat breakfast on a Saturday in C-U is at the Market, of course. 

Bike to the Market month continues throughout May. Bike tune-ups and extra bike parking on Walnut Street will be available. I did see a lot of bikes in the bike corral last week, and here’s hoping this week will see a continuation in the amount of bike traffic. Riding to the Market on your bike is a great way to get some exercise and be environmentally friendly. But, my favorite reason for riding a bike to the Market is that it is a great way burn off all the cookie and pastry calories that could potentially be eaten while browsing the Market. That is a win-win in my book. For more information about Bike to the Market Month see here

Blood Services of Illinois will be at the Market this week as well. The bloodmobile will be parked on Walnut Street. Appointments to give blood can be made in advance. Call (217) 367.2202 or visit here for more information.

Also this week, the Champaign Urbana Safe Routes To School (CUSRTS) bicycle rodeo is scheduled. The bike rodeo is a fun way for kids to learn about bike safety, become better cyclists and learn to avoid common problems. The bike rodeo is for all riders aged kindergarten to 14 or so. The goal of the event is for kids to learn bike safety in a fun environment. If you plan to bike to the Market (or just around C-U) with kids in tow, this is a great way to learn some tips and tricks in a supportive environment. CUSRTS will also have kid’s bike helmets available for purchase for $10 each. See the C-U Safe Routes webpage for more details. 

There will be more produce this weekend, as the weather is finally cooperating a bit. There should be a lot on offer this weekend — especially asparagus, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach. There is the possibility that there will also be some strawberries this week, but you’ll have to get there early because I am planning to buy them ALL. Also, there should be lots of flowers, both cut bouquets and potted, a great assortment of cheeses, meats, local honey, baked goods, and a plethora of handmade items.  

If you are looking for a great gift for a grad, dad, or just a nice person you know who might enjoy some local Market goods, the Market is a great place to look! I’ll be on the lookout for some more adorable pillowcase dresses this week. 

Important Market Details:

Forms of payment: Debit/Credit tokens from last year are still being phased out. If you have any leftover tokens from last year, you’ll probably want to remember to bring them to the Market soon. LINK card tokens are still available. See information about LINK here. All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. There is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall just in case you buy so much you need a few more bucks.

Parking: Parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street for free! Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois.

Information: The Market provides a lot of ways to get information and find out more about the great market events. You can follow the Market on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for Market mail here. There is a map of the vendors here. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at (217) 384.2319. And check out the Market flickr for some great photos from the Market each week — maybe you’ll even be in a few!

The Market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine.

Thanks to former Market Watch writer Amanda Murphyao for all her hard work. She will be very missed in C-U and at the Market! 

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