“Best Community Event” Back this Week in Springfield

The Old Capitol Farmers Market Grand Opening Ceremony takes place this Saturday at 10:30 am at the intersection of 4th and Adams:

  • 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
  • 10:30 am Ribbon Cutting Ceremony with Invited Guests and a performance by Springfield Youth Performance Group, followed by complimentary cake from Incredibly Delicious for market patrons

CUDNTWN – The Old Capitol Farmer’s Market — voted Best Community Event, Best Weekend Activity and Best Fresh Produce in 2017 – is back for the 2018 season at 4th and Adams. The market takes place on Adams Street every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 am – 12:30 pm through the end of October.

The Market has been produced by Downtown Springfield Inc. (DSI) since 1999 and HSHS St. John’s has been the generous premier sponsor since the beginning; this is the third year that Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA) has managed the day-to-day operations of the Market for DSI, and Springfield Area Arts Council (SAAC) has programmed the music.

“HSHS St. John’s Hospital has been the primary supporter of the Downtown Farmers’ Market since its inception nearly 20 years ago,” said Charles L. Lucore, MD, MBA, St. John’s president and CEO. “As leaders in health care we recognize the value of having access to locally grown and nutrient-dense whole foods. We are committed to partnering with Downtown Springfield and the Illinois Stewardship Alliance to bring you the Downtown Farmers’ Market.”

The Old Capitol Farmers Market is proud to continue its status as the area’s only producer-only farmers market.  This means that all products are grown, raised, or handmade by each vendor and nothing is re-sold or mass produced. Over the last two years, the Market has tightened its inspection policy to insure the integrity of the producer-only status.  “Shoppers can feel confident that when they shop at the Old Capitol Farmers Market they are getting the freshest produce and proteins raised right here in Illinois by the farmers standing in front of them,” said Deborah Cavanagh-Grant, Old Capitol Farmer’s Market Manager. The producer-only rule is part of a larger effort to help shoppers know their farmers and better understand and invest in local food systems.

What’s New in the 2018 Season?

Junior League of Springfield Partnership to Help Decrease Food Insecurity

The Junior League of Springfield (JLS), a 75-year-old local service organization, adopted an Issue Based Community Impact model in 2014 in order to better strengthen the skills of members and create more community impact.  Since establishing “food insecurity” as their focus area, JLS has committed over 200 hours of service toward this issue.

The Old Capitol Farmers Market has been chosen as the avenue for Junior League to partner to combat food insecurity over the next several years. Citing the Market’s successful use of SNAP benefit matches totaling more than $16-thousand in 2017 alone, Lindsay Bentivegna, President of JLS, said, “Partnering with the Old Capitol Farmers Market and its SNAP Match Program will allow Junior League members to interact with those coming to the farmer’s market and help influence the positive outcomes of the SNAP Match program.”

Junior League members will be actively involved with data collection, fundraising and event planning, and program implementation with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance, specifically related to their day-to-day management of the Market.

Look For the “Signature Ingredients!”

This season it will be easier than ever to find the freshest local ingredients at the food trucks and prepared food vendors at the Old Capitol Farmers Market, thanks to the new “Signature Ingredient” chalkboard signs.

Each food vendor has committed to purchasing and highlighting at least one Market ingredient on their menu each week– the “signature ingredient.” It could be anything from local eggs in your breakfast tacos, to farm-fresh blueberries in your muffins, to perfectly ripe heirloom tomatoes tucked into your burrito.

The signature ingredient program helps build connections between small farms and local businesses, keeps money local, and gives patrons the choice to eat local and try out the freshest seasonal ingredients.

New Options on Adams Street

The economic benefits for both the local farmer and artisan community, as well as the businesses in the vicinity of the Old Capitol Farmers Market, are clear and have led to many of the Adams Street vacancies filling in with new brick-and-mortar businesses that Market patrons should check out this season. Itty Bitty Fashion Truck started as a Market vendor and has been open in their “permanent home” since November at 403 E Adams. They will be hosting special summer hours all Market season, opening at 8 am on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

New brewery Buzz Bomb Brewing Co. opened earlier this year at 406 E Adams Street to rave reviews and will have special Saturday hours, opening at 10 am, during the Market. Kiddos by Urban Sassafras, a second venture from Cassandra Pence Ostermeier, has weekend-only hours at 407 E Adams, offering free interactive art activities for kids of all ages and Take-and-Make kits for sale. “The Market is where Urban Sassafras really took off, and I’m happy to have an outpost there again,” said Ostermeier.

Look For Local Businesses at the Commercial Tent

You may also find some new local businesses whom you hadn’t heard about at DSI’s new “Commercial Tent,” located at the northwest corner of 4th and Adams on various Saturdays throughout the Market. Based on the Logan Square Farmers Market in the Chicagoland area, the Commercial Tent provides locally-owned Springfield businesses an opportunity to inform market goers about their products and services.

Stay in Touch with Market News

The Market will be releasing its 2018 schedule of Family Fitness, Chef Demonstrations, Musicians and other special events, including Halloween at the Market on Oct. 27, very soon.

In addition to all the latest news posted on the Old Capitol Farmer’s Market Facebook page, patrons can access these handy links to find out which vendors will be at the Market and what products they will be selling:

What products are available at the next market? Visit https://managemymarket.com/api/productsearch.aspx?orgid=931

What vendors are at the next market? Visit http://maps.managemymarket.com/3398