Farmers Market is coming back to Oak Park. It will look more like 2019 than 2020. The hub of the market will be back in the Pilgrim Church parking lot where it belongs. But it will be a one-way walking loop at least halving the chances of a surprise and joyful encounter with someone you didn’t expect to see.

Bad news.

The market manager from recent years, Colleen McNichols, won’t be back. It’s all mysterious. There is, so far, no replacement. The chair of the market commission, Laura Lencioni, says she’s done once her term ends — though she did request a short extension so she can stay on until this year’s market opens. Farmers Market Commission meetings have become Must See Zoom as we look for the next plot twist. 

And perhaps the worst news? The Farmers Market Band will be back but it will be all banjos and ukuleles. No wind or brass instruments in a pandemic

Going back to church. A movie at The Lake. The 4th of July parade. The pool opening. Those are, or would be, all fine things and signals that the pandemic is easing its grip. But the nearest thing to normal in Oak Park (and among its neighbors) is the Farmers Market open, safe and drama-free.

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