It's farmers market season; Belleville Old Town Market opens Saturday

News-DemocratMay 2, 2013 

The Belleville Old Town Market will kick off its 2013 season Saturday with a more compact layout.

Last year the market spread from the parking lot at the corner of West Main and First streets to a parking area along West Main and the northwest quadrant of the Belleville Public Square.

This season everyone will be in the parking lot, said Laurie Bauer, Main Street Coordinator in Belleville.

"The vendors voiced the opinion that they would prefer to be all together," she said. "We're not closing any streets, not restricting traffic."

Last year the committee became involved in a prolonged battle to get the parking spaces closed after compromising with merchants on West Main Street downtown who did not want the first block closed to traffic.

This year there will be plenty of parking along streets and in nearby parking lots, Bauer said.

The market started in 2000 when it was held in the first block of Mascoutah Avenue between East Main and Washington streets.

Bauer said she can never be sure what will be for sale at the market but fresh produce probably will be limited because early crops have not yet ripened.

But there will be plants and flowers and one new addition will be a woman selling goat milk soaps and goat milk lotions from the goats she raises just outside Belleville.

Another new vendor is a man who makes wooden craft products, she said. A woman has said she will have eggs for sale and several bakeries will be on hand with fresh baked goodies.

"We always hope for nice weather but we will be open rain or shine," Bauer said.

The market is open from 7:30 a.m. to noon and will continue on Saturdays through Nov. 16.

Some other farmers markets have opened while some are a few weeks away.

* The Swansea Farmers Market opened Thursday. It has new hours. It now will be open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. every Thursday at the Rural King parking lot on North Illinois Street.

* The Monroe County Farmers Market has two locations. It opened Thursday in Columbia in the parking lot of the Market Place grocery store. It will be open from 3-6 p.m. every Thursday.

* The Waterloo Farmers Market will begin Saturday at the parking lot of Family Video. It will run from 7:30-11:30 a.m. every Saturday.

* In Edwardsville, the Land of Goshen Community Market will open. May 11. It runs from 8 a.m. to noon, downtown next to the courthouse on St. Louis Street.

* In Mascoutah, the farmers market will open May 25. It will be open from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., every Saturday in the parking lot across from city hall under the big mural.

* In Granite City, The Melting Pot Market will begin May 14. It will be open the second Saturday of each month from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the intersection of Neidringhaus Avenue and 20th Street.

* Also in Granite City, the Coordinated Youth & Human Services market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Tuesdays and Wednesdays in the parking lot at 2016 Madison Ave. It opens June 4.

* The Highland Farmers Market is scheduled to open June 13. It will be open from 4-7 p.m. every Thursday at the downtown square.

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