Crafters sell their eclectic wares at annual Eureka Market Day

By Holly Eitenmiller For Chronicle Media

Doug Smith of the Unique Twist fashions cat from balloons for Kaelyn Swiger, 8, of Eureka. Smith has been a fixture at the Eureka Market on the Courthouse Lawn since it began in 2013. (Photo by Holly Eitenmiller / for Chronicle Media)

Hand-knitted baby diaper covers, Alpaca motif purses from Peru, reclaimed barn wood tables; these are the sorts of one-of-a-kind items that were on hand June 16 at Eureka Market Day on the Courthouse Lawn.

“We were going to try to make my Dad a rhubarb pie for Father’s Day,” Jeff Schmidt said, showing off a rhubarb pie baked by Tina Schreyer. “Now we don’t have to.”

Schreyer is a baker from Eureka, known for her skills in the kitchen, and was among the 110 vendors at Market Day this year, all of whom hailed from within 50 miles of Eureka.

The variety of unique wares were exactly what Lisa Zimmer had in mind when she began organizing the event in 2013.

“We have so many talented crafters in this area, and we really want to highlight our local talent,” Zimmer said. “And, of course, we want people to know about all that Eureka has to offer.”

Angie Schrock of Luluroe Fashions cannot operate a storefront due to strict corporate guidelines, and the market is a way for her to bring the line of custom clothing out of the home.

There also were hostas for sale, fresh vegetables, while they lasted, and handmade jewelry. Many of the vendors operate home-based businesses, and primarily gain visibility through social media and the Internet, including Zimmer.

Market Day is presented by her business, Lisa Zimmer Essential Oils, and sponsored by the Eureka Business Association. Zimmer hosted two Market Days per year during each of  event’s first two years, then slimmed it to an annual event in 2015.

Eureka Market on the Courthouse Lawn celebrated its fifth anniversary June 16. The market day has actually been held seven times since 2013; twice a year during the first two years, then annually since 2015. Event organizer Lisa Zimmer said the goal is to showcase local talent and vendors and “show people all that Eureka has to offer.” (Photo by Holly Eitenmiller / for Chronicle Media)

“It became overwhelming and simply made more sense to keep it to a single event each year,” she said. “It’s a great, break-even festival. All of the funds pay for the inflatables, the music and other entertainment.”

Compared to other area festivals that charge vendors upwards of several hundred dollars, Zimmer only asks $10 from each vendor, the proceeds from which tidily fund the market.

This year, music was performed by Deer Fry International, a popular local bluegrass gospel band.

As visitors lounged under the ample courthouse shade, Doug Smith of The Unique Twist fashioned free balloon critters for children, who also enjoyed flouncing about in the bouncy houses.

For businesses unable to bring their goods and services to Market Day, the Eureka Business Association handed out information on businesses in the Eureka, Goodfield, Congerville area.

Unknown to many is the North Shore Boat and Board Rental Company at Eureka Lake. For $20 and under, visitors can rent kayaks, canoes and paddleboards and enjoy a lazy float about the lake.

The popular Junk in the Trunk flea market will happen June 23. On July 21, Washington and Eureka park districts will host canoe and kayak races, and the Taste of Eureka is slated for Sept. 11.

Naomi Rogers, 2, of Bloomington, dances to the gospel bluegrass music of Deer Fry International at the Eureka Market on the Courthouse Lawn on June 16. The ensemble is local and have been performing for more than 20 years. (Photo by Holly Eitenmiller / for Chronicle Media)

“There is so much to enjoy, and do and see here in Eureka,” Mayor Scott Zimmer said. “We put a lot of time and energy into Market Day so that we can reach out and let people know what’s happening here.”

To find out more about events and attractions in the Eureka, Goodfield, Congerville region, visit or visit their Facebook page, Eureka Business Association.





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