For their 45th season, Oak Park Farmers Market is offering two ways to shop. In addition to a modified in-person market opening on Saturday, May 30, they are also piloting an online preordering program through What’s Good, an app designed to connect people to local farmers, artisans and producers.

Online preordering, expected to sell out quickly, went live on Monday, May 25 at 9 a.m. The first virtual market sold out within hours. 

In the future, pre-orders will be offered in limited quantities to prevent volunteers and village staff from becoming overwhelmed. As familiarity with the aggregation process increases, the capacity for pre-orders will grow as well. 

Interested parties are encouraged to create an account on the site. Click on Oak Park, under Chicago markets, to see a list vendors and products available for purchase.

Given the limited number of preorders, market-goers are encouraged to keep pre-ordering slots available to high-risk shoppers. Virtual market shoppers must pre-pay online to receive their order in Pilgrim Church’s parking lot at 460 Lake St. between 9 a.m. and noon. Items will be placed directly into vehicles and no money will be exchanged.

Green City Market uses What’s Good to fill orders. Recently Robin Schirmer, a former Oak Park Farmers Market assistant manager and current volunteer, visited the Chicago market to observe the aggregation and distribution process where volunteers fill and give out 275 online preorders per market.

“Oak Park’s operation will start out on a much smaller scale,” said Schirmer. “It should be able to grow into a successful asset for the market, farmers and those unable to safely shop in the live market.”

Oak Park’s in-person market, featuring more than 20 vendors, will open at 7:30 a.m. across the street from Pilgrim Church at Scoville and Lake and close at 1 p.m. Free parking is available in the OPRF High School parking structure on Scoville at Lake. 

And, yes, there will be donuts, sold pre-boxed on the church’s lawn, also available for pre-order pickup.

Both chambers pass cocktails-to-go measure

SPRINGFIELD — A measure allowing bars and restaurants to serve cocktails to go passed both chambers of the General Assembly Saturday, meaning it needs only a signature from Gov. J.B. Pritzker to become law. 

State Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, said in a news release the bill is aimed at bringing “much needed” relief to bars and restaurants impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In a floor debate, she added that 300,000 of the 580,000 people employed in the hospitality industry in Illinois are currently jobless as indoor dining is still not allowed under the state’s stay-at-home order.

Per the bill, bars and restaurants would be allowed to sell pre-mixed cocktails or other mixed drinks for delivery and curbside pickup, provided they are in tamper-proof, sealed containers. Drivers would be required to store mixed drinks in a trunk or other inaccessible compartment.

The cocktails-to-go measure would be repealed one year after the effective date of the bill, which would be whenever the governor signs it. 

The measure, House Bill 2682, included other provisions aimed at assisting businesses that have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as well. Those include automatically renewing and extending liquor licenses and waiving late filing fees for a license holder that has had business suspended in any capacity due to the pandemic.  

Lawmakers were scheduled to work well into the night Saturday and possibly into Sunday, making passage of the bill still a possibility this weekend. 


Capitol News Illinois

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government and distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

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