Fall is here! There’s a nice crisp autumn feel in the air, and the temperature has been dropping. Time to dig out your jacket and some closed-toe footwear. The first football games of the season have been happening around town, along with the return of the pumpkin spice everything. That means the farmers' markets are also seeing some changes as the season progresses. Both markets run through the end of October, and this is a great time of year for apples, pumpkins, and decorative gourds. While the type of produce might be changing, the markets will still have plenty of produce through the end of the season, as well as prepared foods and arts and crafts types items. Let’s dig into what to expect this month at the market!
Urbana's Market at the Square
This month at the Urbana market most of the events will be the same as the summer months. Art at the Market is on October 13th with the UIUC Noble print club and Pop-up Print shop. The musical group is scheduled to be the Capoeria Angola Center. Sprouts at the Market will take place on October 20th. This free monthly event for kids ages 3-8 will feature a scavenger hunt sponsored by the C-U Junior League. Sprouts is a great program, and the scavenger hunt has been a really fun one for the past couple of years, it’s really cute to see the kids looking around the market for clues and adventure. Read at the Market will be on October 27th; kiddos love to stop by the library tent for a balloon and some library swag, so be sure to check it out. One thing that does tend to happen with the Urbana market is that when the weather turns a bit colder, some of the vendors have less produce or stop attending, so keep that in mind when you plan your trip. The food trucks and prepared items are still around, though, and it is a fun treat to head to the market for breakfast on a nice fall morning in C-U.
The Land Connection's Tuesday Market
The Champaign market also runs through October 30th. The Tuesday market will feature some great fall events and all the pumpkins your little hands can hold. On October 30th, the market will host a Halloween costume contest and a booth trick or treat, which should be really fun. Champaign market organizer Sarah Simeziane was on WILL radio last week explaining how the market has lots of opportunities for those with SNAP or LINK benefits to expand what they can afford at the market. It’s a really great interview at the actual market if you want to check it out. Even though the market season is winding down, the Champaign market plans to run really strong through the end of the season, and I have no doubt they will.
Urbana’s Market at the Square Info
The Urbana Market is one of the largest farmers' markets and has been in continuous operation since 1979. The market runs from May 5th to October 27th, each Saturday morning from 7 a.m. to noon, rain or shine.
Forms of payment: All vendors accept cash, and a few may take checks. Some vendors have card readers on their smart phones. Vendors selling LINK-eligible foods will accept LINK tokens, and there are some vendors who accept SNAP. 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.
Pets: No pets allowed. Please respect the market’s rules and leave Fido at home.
The Land Connection Champaign Farmers’ Market
The Champaign Market is Tuesday evenings from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. in the parking lot at Hill or Main and Neil Street in Downtown Champaign.
Forms of Payment: Vendors take mostly cash, but some do take cards on their smart phones. If you run out of cash, there are ATMs close by in the Busey building on University, or at the PNC location on Main and Walnut.
Parking: Parking is available in parking lot M off of Neil Street, or in the Hill Street Parking Deck.
Pets: Dogs are welcome at this market, but must be leashed.
Photos by Jessica Hammie