Vendor Policies and Application

The Springfield Holiday and Winter Farmers Markets are managed by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance in partnership with Downtown Springfield Inc. and Slow Food Springfield. The Illinois Stewardship Alliance also manages the day-to-day operations of the Old Capitol Farmers Market in downtown Springfield. Vendors need to adhere to the same policies. The 2018-2019 season of the Springfield Holiday and Winter Farmers Markets will be six Saturdays (Holiday Markets – November 17 and December 22; Winter Farmers Markets – January 19, February 16, March 16, and April 20). The Holiday and Winter Farmers Markets will be held from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m.

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.


Definition of Producer-Only

All items must be directly and personally homegrown, handmade, and/or created from locally-owned operations within the state of Illinois. Examples of approvable items include produce, flowers/plants, meat, dairy, baked goods, prepared foods, and art. Items that are mass-produced or purchased from wholesale auctions are not permitted.

Definition of Local

The Old Capitol Farmers Market defines local as grown, raised, gathered, or produced within 200 miles. The Market reserves the right to accept applications outside of this radius on a case-by-case basis and to refuse applications that don’t meet this definition.

Application & Approval

Apply online at

If you are a new vendor, you will need to create a profile. Once you have created a profile, you will be re-directed to an application page featuring markets with open applications across Illinois. Select Springfield Holiday & Winter Farmers Market 2018-2019 to apply for our Market. 

Applications should not be considered approved until an approval notification is given by the Market Manager (see Payments). A vendor may be prohibited from participating in the Market if the Market Manager determines that a vendor does not fit any of the criteria of the Market as set forth in the Vendor Policies. In no event shall the approval or disapproval of an application be based upon the applicant’s race, gender, color, religion, creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, age, sexual orientation, marital status, or any other protected status. In no event shall the approval or disapproval of an application be based on an applicant’s affiliation or lack thereof with the Illinois Stewardship Alliance.

Priority for application acceptance will take into account:

  • Vendor type. In line with the Market mission, Local Growers and Local Food Vendors will receive first priority.
  • Locality. Priority will be given to growers within 200 miles. Growers outside of this radius will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
  • Quality and uniqueness of the product. The Market encourages diversity and strives to offer a variety of locally grown and handmade products to the public. In the case that the Market determines there are too many vendors already selling the same product, an application may not be accepted.
  • Use of locally-grown ingredients used in value-added products. In line with the Market’s mission, the Market encourages the use of locally-grown ingredients in order to provide further economic support for local growers and showcase the locally-grown products that are unique to central Illinois. Priority will be given to vendors who demonstrate a commitment to using locally grown products.
  • History of attendance, good conduct, compliance, and customer service.



The Holiday and Winter Farmers Markets vendor fee structure will be as follows:  

  • Market Season Fees
    • Daily rate: $25 per Market day
  • Manage My Market Registration Fee: $5
  • Electricity: There will be no charge for electricity. It will be available on a first-come basis (outlets are limited). There will be an option for vendors to bring a generator but this will need to be approved by the Market Manager.



All payments must be made in advance. Spaces will be reserved when applications are approved and payments are received. Fees are non-refundable and 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.

Payments may be made by credit/debit card using the PayPal function as part of our online application system. Please log in to your vendor profile at and click on your ACCOUNTS tab. Or by check, payable to the Illinois Stewardship Alliance (230 Broadway #200, Springfield, IL 62701). Please contact the Market Manager if there are questions regarding this process.

Vendor Requirements

  • Certificates/Licenses/Permits: All products must comply with local, state, and/or federal health ordinances. Please contact Kevin Dressman at the Sangamon County Department of Public Health at 217-535-3145 to get up to speed on current regulations. Please allow at least 30 days working time for any health department reviews and inspections. Food licenses, permits, and certification copies must be included with your Market application and must be kept current for the entire market season. An application is not considered complete without the inclusion of all applicable permits for all listed products. Please contact Market Manager if you need further information on certificates, licenses, and permits required.
  • Products sold by weight must comply with the standards of the State of Illinois for sales by weight. All scales must be legal and certified prior to participation at the Market. For a list of Illinois Registered Small Scale Service Companies, visit If you plan to sell by weight, the Illinois Department of Agriculture (IDOA)  will be testing the scales. Any scale that is “not legal for trade” will be rejected and you will be charged for it. The IDOA fees for checking a scale with a 30lb capacity and lower is $20. The fee for a scale with a capacity of over 30lb is $50. For additional information click here. For additional questions, contact the IDOA Weights and Measures office at 800-582-0468.
  • Liability Insurance: All vendors (including artisans) shall upload with their application a copy of their Certificate of Liability Insurance for a minimum of: $100,000 per person; $250,000 per occurrence; and $100,000 property damage.  Illinois Stewardship Alliance must be listed as the “Certificate Holder” or as an “Additional Insured” (or both).
  • All vendors must have an Illinois Business Tax (IBT) number before their first day of sales at the Market and must comply with tax laws and requirements in accordance with the State of Illinois and City of Springfield. The IBT number must be listed on the Market application; applications lacking the IBT will be considered incomplete. In order to receive an IBT number, vendors must first register their business and complete the REG-1 Form. Illinois Business Registration Application information is available online at To obtain an IBT number from the IL Department of Revenue, go to: or call 1-800-356-6302

Vendor Concerns

Vendors who have concerns about the market should contact the Market Manager at or call Illinois Stewardship Alliance at 217-528-1563.

Collaborative Farm/Partner Information

Occasionally a vendor will want to sell, or “carry,” a product made or produced by someone else who is not a vendor at the Market. The collaboration of farms and kitchens is permitted, but the collaborative farm or partner must pay the $5 fee for registering as a vendor on ManageMyMarket. In addition, all collaborative products must be clearly labeled with the name of the farm or partner where they were produced and the location of origin. Not only is this state law, but also it’s our market policy. Any farm found to be selling products that are not grown or raised on their farm which are not properly labeled or which have not paid the required fees will be asked to immediately stop sales of those products and may forfeit their contractual agreement with the market without refund.

Attendance and Absence Policy

Set up begins at 7:00 a.m. and vendors must arrive no later than 8:30 a.m. Vendors are required to notify the Illinois Stewardship Alliance a minimum of 24 hours prior to market day if they do not plan to use their reserved space. In the event of a last minute emergency prohibiting the vendor from attending, the vendor must notify the Market Manager or Illinois Stewardship Alliance office as soon as possible to report the absence. Vendors will not be refunded vendor fees for cancellations or unexcused absences. Cancellations may be made by phone at 217-528-1563 or by emailing Deborah Cavanaugh-Grant at


Vendors shall be responsible for cleaning and removing ALL trash from their market space at the end of each market day. Trash bins will be available in the State House Inn parking area.


Vendors are not permitted to leave the market before the official market end time. Vendors who leave the market early without cause will be subject to disciplinary policies.

Disciplinary Action

Common courtesy and mutual respect are essential for a successful market. Any behavior deemed by the Market Manager to be disruptive or to cause a hostile work or shopping environment shall be cause for eviction of the vendor and possible legal action. Any complaints regarding a vendor 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 vendor privileges/cancellation of lease without refund.

Hold Harmless and Indemnity Agreement

The Springfield Holiday and Winter Markets is an arrangement whereby space at the Market is leased by the Illinois Stewardship Alliance and State House Inn to vendors who are sole proprietors, partnerships, or independent entities. All vendors agree to hold harmless and indemnify the aforementioned organizations, 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 use or consumption of goods sold by the vendors at the Market.

Market Token Program

All vendors will be required to participate in the Market Token Program and accept the Credit/Debit Tokens. All vendors selling eligible products will be required to accept Orange Tokens and the Link Up Illinois Paper Currency. Vendors are required to sign the Market Token Agreement Form in order to receive approval to sell at the Old Capitol Farmers Market.


Samples are allowed and encouraged. However, before sampling, please be sure that you are familiar with and abide by any and all Public Health regulations regarding food sampling. Vendors must maintain their own temporary handwashing station if they plan to slice, cut, or prepare food on-site (as required by IDPH). Please call the Sangamon County Department of Public Health, Environmental Health Division at 217-535-3145  for details on sampling and handwashing station regulations.

*Note: New Sampling Regulations and Certificates are available for the 2018 season. Learn more at

Illinois Department of Public Health – Farmers Markets information at


Vendors are expected to provide their own table(s) and chair(s). ALL VENDORS ARE ISSUED A 8′ x 10′ SPACE by the Market Manager upon application approval.