Thursday, August 18, 2011


Urbana-Champaign, as we type, is going  from a sleepy and quiet and summery college town to a wired, populous, and still quite summery bustling mini-metropolis. The U of I students are returning - or arriving for the first time - and it's though a giant has been awakened. While summer in U-C is lovely, there's something about the energy that comes with the student population that's transformative. We're glad you're here.

So! New here? Or - returning student who couldn't make it to the Market back in May? We'd love to have you visit the Market this weekend - bring your families, if they're still here! The fresh food, produce, and flowers are peaking right now, so if you're looking for amazing local eats, this is the place. We also offer up a variety of baked goods and prepared foods to augment the fresh stuff. Really, the Market is lucky to have such exceptional growers and food providers.

Oh - in case you weren't aware (and this is good to know if you run our of cash at the Market), the Market accepts credit, debit and LINK cards. The new LINK Double Value program, launched just last weekend, is going to be a huge success, if the launch is any indicator. WCIA even came out and did a segment about it. Many thanks to those who came to the Market for the very first time - we hope you'll be back. 

Local artisans are showing their work every weekend, too. This weekend you'll see paintings, jewelry of all kinds, blown glass, textiles, photography, leatherwork, woodwork, furniture, and more - perfect for gifts or dressing up your living space a little bit.

Look, too, for performance. We don't have a schedule of performers - our performers are busking throughout the Market. You might hear bluegrass, folk,acoustic indie rock, solo ukelele, one-man percussion, and who knows what else on a swing through all six rows of the Market.

If you're new to town and are looking for volunteer opportunities, or just want to find out what else is going on in the area, our community organizations area is the place to go on Saturday. This weekend you can talk to folks from the Eastern Illinois Foodbank, AWARE, CIMIC, St. Patrick's, Community Center For the Arts, Community Blood Services of Illinois, CARE Center, and several animal rescue groups will be in attendance, too. The organizations will be more than happy to talk with you about their efforts.

Special events coming up - Art at the Market on 8/27, the Urbana Free Library will be out 9/3, and our next Sprouts at the Market event will be 9/17 in partnership with the U of I's Family Resiliency Center.

We're glad to have you back!

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