6 markets near Springfield, Illinois

As the calendar shifts to May, it means the return of farmers markets throughout the Springfield area.

We tell you everything you need to know about the 2024 season.

Old Capitol Farmers Market

Where: Intersection of Fourth and Adams streets in downtown Springfield

Season: May 15-October. 26 Saturday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m

What: This is the 25th season for the event in downtown Springfield, the largest producer-only farmers market in the state. The open-air location expects an average of 40 vendors.

Electronic benefit transfers are accepted and SNAP benefits can be converted at the information desk into a Healthy Ways card that can be spent as SNAP benefits. The Link Match program allows SNAP benefits to be doubled up to $25.

New this year is an interactive map of the market that allows customers to interact with vendors and locate specific booths throughout the market season. The map can be accessed on the downtown Springfield Inc. website.

The grand opening festivities for the downtown summer market season kick off on May 18 with free cake and cooking demonstrations from Lincoln Land Community College.

More: This summer, 3 a.m. liquor sales are coming to an end at Sangamon County bars

Illinois produce farmers market

Where: The barn at the Illinois State fairgrounds

Season: May 16-Sept. 26, Thursday from 3:30 PM to 7:00 PM (except July 4 and August 1, 8 and 15 for the Illinois State Fair)

What: This is the 17th season for the night market that combines access to fresh produce and other Illinois-based growers and businesses with nightlife. Several wines and craft beers produced in Illinois will be featured throughout the market season, along with food trucks and free live music. More than twenty vendors are expected.

Link cards are accepted and there is a competition program up to $25.

The May 16 kickoff celebration will include children’s activities, a Touch-a-Truck event, zoo animals and a drawing for state fair giveaways.

Check the website for special events such as Health and Wellness on June 20 and September 12 and State Fair evenings on June 27 and July 25 and free ice cream on June 27 in honor of Dairy Month.

The LMH market

Where; Expo Building at the Logan County Fairgrounds in Lincoln

Season: May 11 – September 21, Saturday from 8 a.m. to 12 noon

What: This is the ninth season for this producer-only location. About 20 vendors are registered for the indoor market with products ranging from locally grown produce and proteins to goat’s milk soap and microgreens. New arrivals this year range from locally grown honey from Witty’s Farm in Elkhart to beef products from M&M Family Farms in Hopedale, fresh eggs from D&D Farm in Lincoln to The Mushroom Farmacy in Springfield.

A rotating program of events throughout the season includes the Power of Produce (POP) Club for children, free health screenings and the Moving at the Market challenge offering rewards

individuals for running a lap on the track with monthly prizes. Programming throughout the season includes cooking demonstrations.

SNAP benefits are accepted. And thanks to a donation from the hospital foundation, the marketplace will double the dollar value of SNAP benefits every week.

The market starts on May 11 with special guest Harvey The Mini Cow, free face painting and a storybook walk.

Jacksonville farmers market

Where: Pathway Plaza in the 1900 block of W. Morton Avenue in Jacksonville

Season: May 4 – Nov. 2, Saturday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.; May 21-Sept. 3, Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m.; May 22-Sept. 4, Wednesday from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM

What: This is the 27th season for the vendor-run, grower-only market just east of Walmart. The outdoor market averages about twenty to three dozen vendors throughout the season, selling seasonal produce, locally grown proteins, eggs, pastries, jams and jellies, plant starts and flowers. SNAP benefits accepted with a matching subsidy.

New this year are the evening hours. The market will now be open on Wednesdays from 5:00 PM to 7:00 PM (to accommodate this, Thursday morning hours have been eliminated).

Rochester Public Library Farmers Market

Where: 1 Community Drive in the Rochester Library parking lot

Season: June 9-Sept. 22, second and fourth Sunday every month from 12 noon to 3 p.m

What: The open-air market features about a dozen vendors selling locally grown produce and proteins, home baked goods and crafts. The market also has a variety of food trucks, including a return of Greenie’s Grill. Children’s activities are planned on the second Sunday of each month. Cash or checks are accepted, as are SNAP benefits with a matching program.

Farmers market in downtown Taylorville

Where: Downtown Taylorville on the east and south sides of the square

Season: May 4-Sept. 28, Saturday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m

What: There are an average of two dozen vendors at the market each week, selling locally grown produce and fresh meats, homemade baked goods, and arts and crafts.

Natalie Morris is a freelance correspondent.