Visitors Guide
Shop Local: Downstate Illinois Farmers Markets Open for Season

Shop Local: Downstate Illinois Farmers Markets Open for Season

Posted on 05/02/2022 by Andy Waterman

Since the beginning of the pandemic, one of the phrases we have heard A LOT is ‘support local.’ Many small businesses have obviously had a difficult time staying afloat. One of the best ways to ‘support local’ is by shopping at regional farmers markets. Over the last 25 years farmers markets have exploded in popularity. In 1994 there were less than 2,000 markets in the United States, that number now sits at over 8,600 registered farmers markets throughout the country. Your fun fact of the day is that Illinois is THIRD in the nation for the number of farmers markets! Downstate Illinois is home to nearly 20 different markets alone. 


O’Fallon is home to one of the most popular markets in our entire region. Vine Street Market at O’Fallon Station features more than just local produce; there are also meats, handmade goods, as well as fresh made drinks and food to purchase while you’re shopping around. Wine, pottery, and locally grown popcorn are just a few of the unique goods that can be found at Vine Street Market. It is also one of the only markets where you can enjoy live music while shopping! The main season for the market is every Saturday from May through October; but Vine Street Market also hosts different micro-markets and drive-thru events throughout the year - so be sure to keep an eye on their website and social media accounts for updates. 


In our Central Region, the Vandalia Farmers Market operates on the second Saturday of each month from May through October. The Old State Capitol serves as a great backdrop for this market where you can find everything from plants to baked goods. There are usually more than 20 different vendors to buy from, and the Fayette County Farm Bureau often teams up with Prairie Farms to distribute free milk boxes to attendees. This market is definitely worth the trip to Vandalia! 


A long running farmers market in our Eastern Region is tucked away in Jasper County. The Sainte Marie Farmers Market at Picquet Park is scheduled for every Saturday from 8am to noon, June through October. This market is arguably the biggest tourism draw to the small village of about 300 people. Vendors and shoppers alike travel from miles around to buy and sell fresh fruits, vegetables, crafts and other food. 


There is no question that something unique, something delicious, and something made with care can be found at each and every market throughout our region. So get out there and shop local this year! 



Belleville Old Town Farmer's Market

Saturdays, May through November 

1st block of South Charles (between East Main and East Washington)

7:30 a.m. - Noon


Cross Street Market - Robinson

Saturdays, June 4th - September 24th 

Cross Street Station Park 

8 a.m. - Noon 


McLeansboro Farmers Market

Wednesdays, June through September 

Corner of Randolph and Jackson Streets

Noon - 5 p.m. 


Centralia's Farmers Market

Saturdays at 7 a.m. beginning May 14th

Corner of Locust and 2nd Street


Swansea Farmers Market

Thursdays, May through October

Rural King parking lot 

10 a.m. - 2 p.m. 


Mascoutah Farmers Market

Saturdays, May through October

Across the street from City Hall

8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 


Monroe County Farmer's Market

Thursdays and Saturdays, May through October 

Thursday Evening COLUMBIA IL location: 3 p.m. - 6 p.m. ~ in the parking lot of Schnucks, 1000 Columbia Center, Columbia IL 62236 behind McDonalds and Taco Bell off Route 3.

Saturday Morning WATERLOO IL location: 7:30 a.m. - Noon in the parking lot of the Monroe Co. Annex, 901 Illinois Ave. Waterloo, IL 62298 at the intersection of IL RT-3 and Illinois Ave. 


Salem Community Farmers Market

Thursdays, May through October

Bryan Memorial Park 

2 p.m. - 5 p.m. 


Carlyle Farmers Market 

Friday, May 13th / Friday, June 24th/ Friday, July 29th/ Friday, August 26th/ Friday, September 30th 

Carlyle VFW 

3 p.m. - 7 p.m. 


Chester Farmers Market

Saturdays, May through October

West Holmes and Swanwick Streets (Hardee's corner parking lot)

8:30 a.m. - Noon 


Nashville Farmers Market

Thursdays, May through October

Courthouse Square

7 a.m. - Noon 


Wabash County Farmer's Market

Saturdays, May through September

300 block of Market Street in Mt. Carmel

8 a.m. - 11 a.m. 


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