Despite a deluge of rain, the 47th season of the Oak Park Farmers Market kicked off on Saturday, May 21. The weather may have kept some market shoppers away, but a “rough tally” estimates three-to-four thousand people visited the market last Saturday.
Erica Helms, first time market manager, admits attendance was down compared to non-pandemic years; in 2017 the market welcomed five thousand shoppers on opening day. She anticipates increased numbers over the upcoming “sunny and warm” holiday weekend.
Scheduling conflicts prevented Lyman Ave. Bread, Vangie’s Farm and American Pride, from making it to opening day and a last-minute truck breakdown prevented Johansen’s Apple Orchard from arriving, but Helms anticipates all four vendors will be at the May 28 market.
“Getting through the set up and tear down once eased some of my anxiety,” said Helms, of her first day on the job. “I finally got to meet vendors in person, and I am looking forward to building relationships with them. I also met community members who have supported the market for years.”
Helms said the market is still looking for more volunteers and has paid market assistant positions open as well.
The Oak Park Farmers Market, located in the Pilgrim Church parking lot, 460 Lake St., is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday through Oct. 29.