Monticello Main Street’s Monticello Farmers’ Market is set to host its 20th season beginning on June 13 from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on State Street in downtown Monticello, in front of the Community Building, with entertainment, programs, and vendors, thanks in large part to Market sponsor, Kirby Medical Center.
The community is invited to enjoy the special kick-off festivities, and return each Thursday through Oct. 3 for fresh, locally grown and made products. This year’s Market features many of the mainstay farmers and makers, and welcomes a few newcomers as well.
“This year is the 20th anniversary of the Monticello Farmers’ Market, giving us even more reason to come together and celebrate and support our agrarian community and local food!” said Amanda Pankau, Monticello Farmers’ Market Manager. “We’ll feature local musicians, artists, and community groups and a great mix of vendors offering produce, plants, breads, honey, and more.”
Returning Market vendors will include: Backyard Beauty, Blue in Green Photography, Great Harvest Bread Company Champaign, Henhouse Farms, Moonlight Bakery, Natural products by Karin, New Hope Farms, Sager Farms, Twin Silos Farm, Buds n’ Blooms and Double B Meats, Mariah’s Mums. New vendors include: Sitka Salmon Shares, Hope, Love,and Dogs, Holly’s Country Canning, and Spice Sisters.
The Monticello Area Arts Council will be sponsoring a table for local artists to share and sell their work this year. The University of Illinois Extension Hort. & Master Gardeners- DeWitt, Macon & Piatt Counties will have garden and plant information to support the average home gardener this growing season. Other community groups will join throughout the season including the Piatt County Farm Bureau, the Extension’s Nutrition and Wellness Educator, the Association of Home and Community Education, Maple Point’s Pedal Pushers program, and others.
The Farmers’ Market has also partnered with area organizations and businesses for “Pollination Celebration,” a week-long flurry of activity, commemorating Illinois Pollinator Week, June 17- 21. Pollination by animals, such as bees, butterflies, other insects and birds, is essential to many agricultural crops such as melons, squash, apples, berries, almonds, carrots, and avocados.
“About 30 percent of American crops rely on pollination by insects, especially bees,” said Pankau. “The purpose of Pollination Celebration is to raise awareness about the importance of pollinators, spread information about what people can do to help their struggling populations, and create a sense of shared responsibility for improving the natural world in our community.”
Pollination Celebration will include a slate of activities and events at different locations throughout Monticello:
–Tuesday, June 18: Wildflower Walk, 10-11:30am at Allerton Park and Retreat Center (Schroth Trail Parking Lot)
–Thursday, June 20: Honeybee Storytime, 10:15 AM at Allerton Public Library and Pollinator Celebration at the Monticello Farmers’ Market, 3:30-6:30pm. Market Vendors and community groups will be celebrating with pollinator information and kid’s activities. The Wright Start will sponsor the kid’s corner with a pollinator themed activity. The Piatt County Farm Bureau will be at Market sharing pollinator seed packets.
–Friday, June 21: “Pollinator Play Date,” 9:30-11:30 AM, Monticello Main Street downtown at Rotary Park. Toddlers and preschoolers are invited to come dressed or adorned as their favorite pollinator for free-play with friends. Main Street will provide sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and oversized Connect Four. Bring a toy to share!
–Allerton Public Library is partnering with local business Little Bluestem Montesorri to design and plant a pollinator pocket at the Library.
Community organizations may contact Main Street at firstname.lastname@example.org for ideas on how to get involved. All activities will be shared on the Monticello Farmers’ Market Facebook page.
About Main Street
Monticello Main Street, Inc. is a nonprofit organization founded in 1996 by concerned local volunteers dedicated to historic preservation and to strengthening our community’s economic growth. The main area of concentration is in the downtown business district and the extended fringe area of Monticello’s downtown. Monticello Main Street also plans and produces community events throughout the year, including the Monticello Farmers’ Market and Monticellobration. The mission of Monticello Main Street is to strengthen the vitality of Monticello’s Downtown by promoting civic pride, encouraging growth, and preserving and improving community involvement and resources.