Community Group Policies

The Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) is a producer-only farmers market located in the heart of Downtown Springfield at or near the corner of 4th and Adams Street. The 2018 season of the Old Capitol Farmers Market operates on Wednesdays and Saturdays for a total of 24 weeks, beginning Wednesday, May 16th and ending Saturday, October 27th. This is a total of 48 market dates. The Market will take place every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:30 p.m. RAIN OR SHINE.

Market Mission

The Old Capitol Farmers Market strives to:

  • Support small farms and local growers by providing a venue to directly market their goods.
  • Strengthen the local economy by providing a venue for the public to connect with local growers, artisans, musicians, and entrepreneurs.
  • Build community by providing a public gathering space for community members to engage, interact, and exchange ideas with the people and projects around them.
  • Encourage healthy lifestyles through increasing availability of fresh produce and locally raised food.
  • Celebrate the diversity of locally-grown food and artisan products that are unique to Springfield and central Illinois.
  • Support, revitalize, and grow downtown Springfield by increasing foot traffic and patronage to the downtown area.

Market Governance

The Market is governed by Downtown Springfield Inc. (DSI) and managed by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (ISA). Springfield Area Arts Council (SAAC) finds and hires local performers for Saturday markets, oversees any other performances, and approves artisan applications. Downtown Springfield Inc. retains ownership of the Market and is responsible for consumer marketing and sponsorships. Illinois Stewardship Alliance is responsible for Market operations, including registration, approval of applicants, space assignments, inspections, vendor disputes, and other processes involving vendors as well as educational programming and consumer marketing during the market. Please contact the Market Manager, Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at with questions, or call the ISA office at 217-528-1563.

Community Group Policies

As a service to the community, the Old Capitol Farmers Market (“Market”) allows booths for non-profit community groups whose mission aligns with the mission of the Market. A community group is defined as a non-profit, charitable, educational, or government organization. An application, pre-approval, and payment are required for community group booths.

  • All groups must feature an educational activity or service that engages the community. Examples include games, photo-booths, raffles, crafts, face painting, and wellness services (dental check-ups, chiropractic services, bicycle repairs).
  • Groups will not be allowed to distribute religious or political propaganda.
  • The Market Manager will evaluate each application before approval.

Application Procedures

Applications should not be considered approved until the Market Manager gives notification. A community group may be prohibited from participating in the Market if the Market Manager determines that a community group does not fit any of the criteria of the Market as set forth in this document. In no event shall the approval or disapproval of an application be based upon the applicant’s race, sex, color, religion, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other protected status.

Manage My Market: A community groups’ profile and application will need to be completed at and submitted to the Old Capitol Farmers Market using the web application. Please skip any questions that do not apply to you as a community group. For a tutorial please visit this link. When you are prompted to enter a product list please choose “Community Resources” from the list of potential products.


  • Daily Rate $25
  • Market Season Fees
    • Full Season Wednesday and Saturday:  $500 (48 Market days)
    • Full Season Wednesday Only: $300 (24 market dates)
    • Full Season Saturday Only: $300 (24 market dates)
    • Half season: $300 (24 market dates of your choosing)
    • ⅓ Market: $120 (8 dates of your choosing)

An additional Manage My Market Registration Fee of $15 is required for all approved applications. If your application is not approved, the fee will not be charged.


All payments must be made in advance unless the Market Manager grants prior approval. Community groups will be asked to leave if their payment was not made. FEES ARE NON-TRANSFERABLE (They cannot be transferred to someone else, nor can they be transferred from one season to the next). If an application is denied, any payment made will be returned. There will be no charge for electricity, but the manager cannot guarantee it will be available for all community groups. Please contact Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at to request electricity.

Pay By Mail: 

If paying by mail, please send a check or cash to the address below. Please indicate in some fashion that the payment is for a “Community Group Booth.”

Illinois Stewardship Alliance
230 Broadway, Suite 200
Springfield, IL 62701

Online Payment

If paying by credit/debit card: Payments may be made by credit/debit card using the PayPal function as part of our online application system. Please log in to your community groups profile at and click on your ACCOUNTS tab. Please contact the Market Manager if there are questions regarding this process.

Market Operations


Community groups are asked to arrive and check in with market staff one hour before market start time.  Community groups arriving after 7:00 a.m. will not be permitted to enter the Market with their vehicle but may park and walk their booth materials into the Market.

Attendance and Absence Policy

Community groups must be present by 7:00 a.m.: otherwise space is subject to reassignment to other community groups or vendors. Community groups are required to notify Illinois Stewardship Alliance a minimum of 24 hours prior to market day if they do not plan to use their reserved space so it can be reassigned to another community group. In the event of three unexcused absences, ISA shall have the option to permanently reassign the participant’s market space without any further notice. In the event of a last-minute emergency prohibiting the community group from attending, the community group must notify the Market Manager or Illinois Stewardship Alliance office as soon as possible to report the absence.  The absence will be excused at the discretion of the Market Manager.  Fees will not be refunded for cancellations or unexcused absences except in extenuating circumstances at the Market Manager’s discretion. Cancellations may be made by phone at 217-528-1563 or by emailing Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at


Community groups shall be responsible for cleaning their market space at the end of each market day. Any community groups caught leaving trash in the Market area or disposing of trash in inappropriate areas will receive a written notice.


Community groups may drive their vehicles into the Market after 12:30 p.m.; only after the safety staff has removed barricades at the Market entrances/exits. Community groups are not permitted to leave the market before the official market end time. Community groups who leave the market early will be subject to disciplinary policies.

Disciplinary Action

Any behavior deemed by the Market Manager to be disruptive or to cause a hostile work or shopping environment shall be cause for eviction and possible legal action. Common courtesy and mutual respect are essential for a successful market.  Any complaints regarding a community group should be directed to the Market Manager who will investigate the complaint. The Market Manager reserves the right to choose disciplinary measures that match the infraction, which may not necessarily follow the order below.

      • 1st Offense/Complaint: Verbal Warning issued by the Market Manager
      • 2nd Offense/Complaint: Written Warning issued by the Market Manager
      • 3rd Offense/Complaint: Suspension of Market community groups’ privilege and cancellation of lease with community groups without refund.

Hold Harmless and Indemnification

Old Capitol Farmers Market is an arrangement whereby space at the Market is leased by the City of Springfield to community groups and community groups who are sole proprietors, partnerships, or independent entities not connected with the City of Springfield (or its owners, agents, employees, and management). All community groups agree to hold harmless and indemnify the City of Springfield, Illinois Stewardship Alliance, Downtown Springfield Inc., and agents, representatives, and employees of those organizations, from any and all responsibilities, losses of income, claims, damages, lawsuits, reasonable attorney fees, costs, expenses, or judgments incurred by, or resulting from, the enforcement of any rules or from the sale or consumption of goods sold by the community groups at the Market.


Samples are allowed and encouraged. However, before producing samples, please be sure that you are familiar with and abide by any and all public health regulations regarding food sampling. Community groups must maintain their own temporary hand-washing station if they plan to slice, cut or prepare food on-site (as required by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH)). Please call the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division at 217-535-3145 for details on sampling and hand washing station regulations. *Note: New Sampling Regulations and Certificates are available for the 2018 season. Learn more at


Community groups are expected to provide their own tents and tables. All tents and canopies must be weighted down with at least 25 pounds per leg, regardless of forecast weather conditions. Market staff may require that a tent be taken down if proper weights are not used and securely fastened to the tent legs.

Space Assignments

The Market Manager upon application approval issues all community groups’ space assignments. The highest priority for space assignments is given to community groups whose operations most closely reflect the values and mission of the Old Capitol Farmers Market. Space assignments will be given using the same priorities listed for application acceptance.