(30 July 2014 - Alton, IL) – Fans of locally-grown, healthy food have been flocking to the Alton Farmers' & Artisans' Market at its new permanent location at the corner of Landmarks Blvd. and Henry Street. Many enjoyable activities have been planned to enhance the occasion for shoppers.

On Sat, Aug 2nd, the Southern Illinois Healthcare Foundation will compliment the visitor experience by providing a health fair in conjunction with the event. SIHF will be performing blood pressure checks and glucose checks on site. Mental health screenings will be performed by Nicole Weller LPC, LCPC, and their new pediatric provider Dr. John Giroux will be on hand for a meet and greet. The SIHF Community Programs department will be present to discuss HIV awareness. “This is the fifth year that Southern IL Healthcare Foundation has organized a health fair in conjunction with the Market and our shoppers always let us know that they really enjoy this activity” said Sara McGibany, Executive Director of Alton Main Street. “We value this partnership greatly and appreciate the efforts of the SIHF staff who always do a great job putting everything together.”

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The crowd will also enjoy live musical entertainment from Happenstance, a youth acoustic trio from Edwardsville, IL.

Looking ahead, August 9th celebrates National Farmers Market Week –The Nature Institute will be offering a kids activity, and a Bluegrass jam will be held in the Café area. The jam is open to all musicians who would like to come and join in the fun; with all skill levels welcome. For those who do not play, but enjoy bluegrass, old time and acoustic music, bring your lawn chairs and have a good time just listening.

New in 2014, River Bend Yoga is offering a donation-based yoga class on-site every Saturday from 8:00-8:45am.

The public is also reminded that LINK cards (formerly known as food stamps) are accepted by many vendors. Customers that wish to use their Link benefits at the Market can swipe their card at the info booth in exchange for tokens, which are used to purchase eligible products from vendors. Also, Senior Services Plus is distributing Senior Nutrition Coupons at the Market, which are vouchers for $21 worth of free produce to seniors 60+ who fit income guidelines. For more information on that program, please contact SSP at 465-3298.

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Alton Main Street organizes the Market, which has been in operation for approximately 22 years, as part of its efforts to revitalize the Downtown Alton historic district. The Market features a wide variety of products that are grown within a 50-mile radius or handmade, and new vendors are welcome. Registration fees are $10 for Saturdays and $5 for Wednesdays; anyone who is interested is encouraged to visit the “Events” page at www.DowntownAlton.com to download the vendor registration form and bylaws.

The Market will be in session on Saturday mornings from 8:00 a.m. until Noon and on Wednesday evenings from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. through October 18th.

Shoppers will find a wide selection of locally-grown seasonal fruit and vegetables, including heirloom varieties and organically grown crops. Along with produce, grass-fed beef, pasture-raised poultry, farm fresh eggs, local honey, fresh bread and other baked goods will be available, along with fresh cut flowers, potted plants, and a large assortment of hand-crafted artwork such as pottery, stained glass, handmade soap, and woodworking items.

The Market has a facebook page, found at: www.facebook.com/AltonFarmersMarket, where shoppers will be updated on what produce is in season and receive reminders on upcoming entertainment and activities.

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Alton Main Street – engaging our community in the continued renewal of our historic downtown district and Mississippi River heritage by cultivating an attractive center of economic and social activity.

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