Alton, IL (27 May 2011) – The Alton Farmers & Artisans’ Market starts this Saturday, June 4th & will run from 8am to Noon every Saturday thereafter through mid-October. The market is located in the parking lot at the corner of Henry Street and Landmarks Boulevard. A wide selection of locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables is available, including heirloom varieties and organically grown crops. Along with produce, shoppers will also find plant materials, grass-fed meat, local honey, fresh bread and other baked goods, and a large assortment of hand-crafted artwork. The location provides plenty of on-site parking.

 

The Alton Marketplace Association sponsors and organizes the market, which has been in operation for approximately 17 years. “We have been increasing the customer base and recruiting more great vendors than ever before,” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director, “Our participation has doubled over the past few years; around seventy vendors took part during the 2010 season, and we are always looking for more.” Anything that is homegrown or at least 50% handmade is welcome to be sold at the market, and anyone interested in being a vendor is encouraged to call Alton Marketplace at 463-1016.

 

The market is a fun, easy, and responsible way for citizens to shop for healthy food. Fruits and vegetables are at their freshest and most nutritious when purchased locally, and the most environmentally, economically and socially responsible way to purchase your food is through local growers at the Farmers’ Market. New this year, live entertainment and special activities have been scheduled for every week of the season:

 

6/4 – Live Music: The Plain Label Band & nature crafts: make your own terrarium

6/11 – Nature crafts: seed bracelets or ladybug pins & magnets

6/18 - Nature crafts: eco-heads & art demo: pottery wheel

6/25 – Nature crafts: topiaries

7/2 – Live Music: The Waters Trifecta & art project - potato stamping

7/9 - Celebrity Chef Jarvis Putnam of Bossanova & face painting

7/16 - Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation Health Fair

7/23 - Celebrity Chefs Laurie & Geo of Chez Marilyn & Summer recipe day

7/30 - Celebrity Chef Keith Davis of Southern Girls BBQ & Arts in the Park: clay explorations

8/6 – Live Music: The Dixie Dudes & Arts in the Park: wooden wind chimes

8/13 – Arts in the Park: tissue paper paintings

8/20 – Arts in the Park: 3D puppets

8/27 – Composting workshop with The Nature Institute

9/3 – Live Music: The Blu Skies & art demo: pottery wheel

9/10 – Fall recipe day & art project: Make Your Own Tie Dye (bring your own shirt - $5 fee)

9/17 – Art Demo: wood carving

9/24 - Dog Day at the Market to benefit the Alton Dog Park

10/1 – Live Music: Typsy Gypsy & Magician

10/8 – Community Supported Agriculture & Urban Gardening Day

10/15 - Pumpkin Decorating Contest & face painting

 

The Community Cultivators will provide the nature craft activities, and the Jacoby Arts Center will provide the “Arts in the Park” activities. Starting in July, Senior Services Plus will be distributing Senior Nutrition Coupons at the Market, which are vouchers for $21 worth of free produce to seniors 60+ who fit income guidelines.

 

The event’s vendor registration form is available for download on the “Events” page of www.AltonMarketplace.com. For more information, please contact Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Marketplace, at 618-463-1016 or Bob Sancamper, Head Farmer, at 618-372-3018.

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