Art, crafts, free performances and produce, oh my! If you haven’t made it to the market yet this summer, this week is the one to start with. Art at the Market returns with a free CD weaving workshop. There will also be a free musical performance by The Turinos, and many produce options available. Don't miss it!

At Art at the Market, you can learn how to make your own circular weaving project with Kathryn Fitzgerald from 8 a.m.–noon. This free project is for both adults and children, and all materials will be provided. I’m looking forward to seeing what these cool projects will look like! While you are making your Art at the Market craft, enjoy a free performance from The Turinos. The Turinos will provide Cajun and country blues tunes on the fiddle, banjo, guitar, and accordion for your listening pleasure from 9:30–11:30 a.m. For more information about either of these events, see here.

Last week at the Market there was produce as far as the eye could see, and this week will be even better! The Market has hit high season, and the produce offerings are fantastic. This week there will be peaches, black raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, collard greens, lettuce, garlic scapes, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, broccoli, radishes, zucchini, beets, kale, and summer squash. The peaches are looking really great, and tasting even better. I made some peach jam from market peaches this week, and it turned out pretty tasty.

This is also the time for peach and berry pies and cobblers and all kinds of other summer delights. But, if you aren’t up for making your own jam or pie, the market has plenty of pre-made options to choose from. There are pies, cakes, bread, cinnamon rolls (yum!), cookies, take and bake casseroles, and lots of other pre-made choices as well. Also, there are doughnuts!

More specifically, chocolate overdose doughnuts. I promised a few weeks ago to try out the chocolate overdose doughnut for you all and report back. And, I have to say that the report is good. I got to the Pandamonium doughnut stand pretty early last week and managed to snag a chocolate overdose doughnut, and now I know why they sell out. The doughnut is a kind of cake-yeast doughnut hybrid. I would describe the dough as kind of springy, but in a good way. The texture of the doughnut is unique, but really good. Also, it has a kind of cinnamon undertone, so the doughnut itself is kind of like Mexican chocolate cake. But the best part is the frosting: very rich and sinfully chocolate, but not too sugary. Together, this makes one excellent doughnut. If you get a chance, stop by at Pandamonium and get one to try yourself!

Also, there will be lots of handmade craft items this week, tasty options from the food trucks, and plenty of flower bouquets as well. A word to the wise though, I forgot my travel mug on the counter at home last week and was looking for coffee at the market. I do have to say that the options for coffee were a little slim, so if you need coffee at the market, you may want to bring your own. 

On July 27, the Sustainable Choices 2040: Long Range Transportation Plan Community Conversations Bus will be at the market. Stop by and learn about long-term transportation planning in Champaign-Urbana. For more information about this event see here

Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones, but not that many. See information about LINK tokens here. If you run out of cash at the market, there is an ATM in the Lincoln Square Mall.

Parking: Free parking is available in the parking lots surrounding Lincoln Square Mall and the lot south of Illinois Street. Bike parking is also available at the entrances to the mall and at the bike corral area past the entrance to the Market off of Illinois. 

Information: You can follow the market on Facebook and Twitter. Sign up for market mail here. There is a map of the vendors here. If you want more information you can email Market Director Natalie Kenny Marquez or call her at (217) 384-2319. And check out the Market flickr for some luscious photos of the Market produce.  

The Market runs from 7 a.m. to noon every Saturday through November 2. All events are scheduled rain or shine. C-U at the Market!