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Winter’s approach whets the appetite of Evanston 150’s Market for All Seasons and Reasons committee. The group is working to establish a year-round fresh market here.
Seeds were sown last year with the Saturday winter market, held from December through March. Dennis Clarkson, who chairs the committee, told the RoundTable, “The indoor market last year was wildly successful. People would come up to us [at the Crust and Crumb booth] at the downtown market and say how much they enjoyed the indoor market.”
Given the community’s enthusiasm, Mr. Clarkson said, “We’re really in the state of strategic planning. We want to build on what is already established. The downtown farmers’ market is
probably one of the most successful in the state. ”
Fresh produce is not the only draw of a market. “People want baked goods and entertainment in addition to the normal farmers’ produce of meat, eggs and cheese,” Mr. Clarkson said.
The Ecology Center seemed to be a good location, but with the growing popularity of the market – some 1,500-2,000 people each week – parking could be a problem.
The next steps, Mr. Clarkson said, are for the committee to establish a not-for-profit organization with tax-exempt status and “go after grant money. Then we need to formalize what is the best location for a year-round community market.”
In the interim, the indoor market will resume at the Ecology Center on Dec. 1, Mr. Clarkson said.