Farmers markets across McLean County region in full bloom

Chronicle Media staff

Located around the Downtown Square, the downtown Bloomington Farmers’ Market is managed and staffed by the city of Bloomington’s Economic & Community Development Department. (Photo courtesy of

As the warm weather returns, farmers markets throughout the region are back in business again.  Visitors can shop for locally-produced food and arts and crafts.

The Downtown Bloomington Outdoor Farmers’ Market is open every Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to noon now through October.  It is held in the square around the McLean County Museum of History, along Center, Jefferson and Main streets.

The market is a producer-only market offering a wide array of farm products — including produce, cheeses, pork, beef, free-range poultry and eggs, flowers, plants, herbs, and more grown and produced by the individual selling these items.

Locating the market in the central square is intended to help energize Downtown Bloomington “by providing a forum where urban residents can deal directly with the farmers who grow their food products, increasing their knowledge and appreciation for the quality and benefits of locally grown and produced agricultural products,” as stated on the Downtown Bloomington organization.

The goals of the market are:

  • Provide growers and producers of Illinois agricultural commodities and other farm-related products with alternative marketing opportunities.
  • Promote the sale of Illinois-grown farm products.
  • Improve the variety, freshness, taste, and nutritional value of produce available to consumers in the McLean County area.

The bake sale is always a popular feature of the Downs Village Market. (Photo courtesy of of the Downs Village Market)

The Uptown Normal Farmers Market is held every Tuesday evenings from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.  at 100 W. North St. Come visit and take a look. Phone to learn more about its selection of fruits, organic food, crafts, vegetables and local specialties.

The Downs Village Market is open every Wednesday evenings 4 to 6 p.m. June through September held at 103 W. Franklin St.

Beginning 20 years ago, the market began with the goals of  “keep it Local, Keep it Lively, Keep it Friendly, and Keep it Community,” according to the village.

During those first years, the Downs Village Market Committee was Cheryl and Dave Bach, Ruth Hood, and Carol Hiebert.  The committee has grown along with the market itself as it now includes many musicians, locally-made arts and crafts, fresh baked goods, master gardeners on hand to answer questions as well as locally-grown vegetables and fruits.

The market is an opportunity for the Downs community to gather in addition to welcoming visitors to the town and enjoy the evening.

LeRoy hosts its outdoor market on Sunday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. in historic Kiwanis Park, 101 West Center St. The regular weekly schedule will run through Aug. 13.  There will be no markets on Sunday. Aug. 20 and 27 because of the Fall Festival, then returning to regular schedule on

Sept. 3 and 10.