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Market Watch: Holiday edition

Market Watch: Independence Edition (July 6)

After you finish eating a hamburger, swimming, watching the parade, having apple pie, watching the fireworks, and whatever other fun things you do to celebrate on the 4th, the holiday weekend fun continues at the Market. This week at the Market there will be lots of summer fruit, events, and yummy goodies to celebrate!

Sprouts at the Market will be back this week with another kid-friendly, nutrition-based, fun activity. The title of this week’s sprouts is Eat Your Colors. This event will feature produce of all colors for “sprouts” to sample and will focus on mealtime choices and teach children about farmers and farms. If you have a “sprout,” this family-friendly activity will be a great way to extend your weekend fun. More information is available here

This weekend, there should also be a wide variety of produce for your weekend parties. Did you see all the tomatoes, berries, and peaches last week? There will be more of those this week. 

The line last week for peaches was quite long, so if you missed out there will be more this week. There will likely be garlic scapes, lettuces, cucumbers, zucchini, some beets, asparagus, cabbage, spinach, green beans, and sugar snap peas. There will also be local honey and many types of jam, jelly, and other pre-made foods to take home with you. Last week, we saw a lot of baked goods, including some extra yummy cinnamon rolls! Check out the food trucks for lots of breakfast and lunch options that you can eat as you browse the Market at your leisure.  

Last week, there was a lot happening at the Market — plenty of music and activity. I especially liked the two guys covering the Flaming Lips on acoustic guitar. They were pretty good and drew quite a crowd. Hopefully, the music will continue to flow as the Market takes us further into summer. I did also see the Orange Man, a monochromatic musician who occasionally shows up at the Market, but unfortunately he was just getting set up for the day, so I can’t comment on his musical stylings. 

There has been a nice upswing in the number of handmade craft vendors the last couple of weeks. There is really something for everyone. If you have a little one in your life, check out all of the adorable kiddo fashions, hair doo-dads, and fun toys. For the patron looking for a home décor upgrade, you can definitely find handmade, one-of-a-kind items to decorate your home. You can also find adult apparel, jewelry, sock monkeys, bath items, and a plethora of other handmade craft items to bring home. And don’t forget some flowers to cheer up your home or office for the week! The cut flowers at the Market have been really great this summer. I have been buying some really beautiful bouquets from Illinois Willows, so if you get a chance, check out their flowers.

Next week (July 13), Community Blood Services will be hosting a Blood Drive at the Market. Click here for more information. 

Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones, but I haven’t seen too many of those. See information about LINK tokens here. If you run out of cash at the Market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. 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: Get information about the Market. 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 excellent photos of the Market. 

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

Have a safe and fun 4th, and I’ll C-U at the Market!

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