The Illinois Department of Agriculture is set to sprinkle some holiday magic on downtown Springfield with the anticipated return of the Illinois Product Holiday Market. For a weekend of festive shopping, December 1 to 3, the "Y Block" will transform into a Yuletide wonderland north of the Governor's Mansion.
A treasure trove of local delights awaits at the annual market, offering something special for everyone on your naughty or nice list. Featuring everything from creamy local egg nog, artisanal cheeses, savory sauces, and seasonings to fresh and frozen meats, baked treats, and handcrafted goodies, it's a one-stop shop for gifting galore! And yes, you can also eat your heart out with food vendors serving up scrumptious snacks and full meals.
For the adults making their list and checking it twice, Illinois Wine is rolling out a wine tasting experience not to be missed. "The Illinois Product program gives Illinois entrepreneurs a platform to grow and expand their business," declared IDOA Director Jerry Costello in a statement that smells like peppermint and prosperity. "This Holiday Market is a great opportunity for shoppers to support local agri-businesses that contribute to our state's number one industry."
The market also boasts a free holiday workshop for the kids, complete with crafts, a selfie station, and coloring activities. To totally get into the spirit, live music will stitch the air with carols, and the one and only Santa Claus will be there to hear whether you've been bad or good this year.
All this festive fun spans across three days, with hours of operation tailored to make the most of it. Things kick off on Friday, December 1, from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., with Santa sliding in from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Saturday stretches from 11:00 a.m. to 6pm, with jolly old St. Nick appearing from noon to 3pm. And if you still have jingle bells on your feet, Sunday's gig runs from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the red-suited man from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.