Beloit Outdoor Farmers Market to kick off 49th season May 4

Beloit Outdoor Farmers Market to kick off 49th season May 4 Main Photo

29 Apr 2024

BELOIT — Vendors selling plants, eggs, meat, cheese, jams and more will fill the streets in downtown Beloit Saturday as the outdoor Farmers Market kicks off another season.

There are 118 stalls available for vendors at the Farmers Market, said Downtown Beloit Association program coordinator Anne Soderberg. There also will be food trucks as well as music at the Gantry and children’s activities at First National Bank Plaza.

The Farmers Market, which is starting its 49th season on Saturday, will be open from 8 a.m. — 1 p.m. each Saturday through October. The market vendors set up on State Street and Grand Avenue in downtown Beloit.

The market attracts about 4,500 visitors each week, Soderberg said. The Beloit Farmers Market has a reputation as one of the best Farmers Market in Wisconsin and in the Stateline Area, with the possible exception of the Madison market, Soderberg said.

The market attracts people from throughout the region, and it not only is popular among visitors to Beloit, but downtown business owners enjoy the foot traffic it creates.

Betsy Schmiechen of the Villager Gallery and Frameworks, said the Farmers Market definitely creates foot traffic in her store. Many farmers market shoppers stop in to browse the home decor, jewelry and custom picture framing items in her store.

“I love the Farmers Market. It’s a regional draw. People from Milwaukee, Madison and the Chicago suburbs come to Beloit for the Farmers Market,” she said. “It has a great reputation.”

Scott Lamoreux, owner of Northwoods Premium Confections, not only experiences more customer traffic in his store from the Farmers Market, he said he would not be a downtown business owner if not for the market.

He noted that before he opened his store at 314 State St., he was a vendor at Beloit’s Farmers Market. After about four years as a vendor, he decided to open a year-round store in downtown Beloit. He just celebrated the 11th anniversary of his store opening on Valentines Day.

He continues to be a vendor at the Farmers Market as well, setting up a tent in front of his store that sells delicious candy coated popcorn, chocolate covered nuts and other treats on State Street.

He said the variety that the Farmers Market offers is a big part of its continued success.

“It is more of a traditional farmers market, offering produce and plants, but it also has a nice mix of food and non-traditional items,” he said.

Andrew Lenzen of Here & There Farms in Winslow, Illinois, will be a vendor at the outdoor Beloit Farmers Market, and he also is a regular at the indoor Winter Market held at the Downtown Beloit Association offices.

He and his cousin, Luke Speer, hit the road to get to Beloit around 4:30 a.m. and set up on the downtown Beloit street around 6 a.m. This will be the second year they have sold their salsas, maple syrup and produce at the Beloit Farmers Market.

Lenzen said he sets up a booth at farmers markets in Monroe and Lena, but he finds the Beloit market the most enjoyable.

“We get to meet a lot of interesting people,” he said of the Beloit market. “And they have good music and good food.”

Tony Fiorenza of Wind Ridge Herb Farm in Caledonia, Illinois, said this year will marks the first year he will have a booth in the spring in the downtown Beloit market.

“I was able to join the Beloit market in the summer of last year,” Fiorenza said.

He sells organically grown plants, herbs and produce and he also has a line of aroma therapy products.

He also sells his plants at the Beloit Winter Market, and he thoroughly enjoys the outdoor market.

“It’s got a great vibe to it,” he said. “You see a lot of new faces and a lot of familiar faces.”

Fiorenza said he has sold his products at other shows and markets. He even checked out the Madison Farmers Market, but the organizers only allow Wisconsin vendors, so as an Illinois producer, he was not allowed at the Madison event. He said that is alright with him. He understands the organizers wanting to reserve room for local vendors.

Soderberg said the children’s activities offered at the Farmers Market was actually an outgrowth from the Winter Market, held at the Downtown Beloit Association offices. She said the Beloit Public Library and area non-profit agencies started offering children’s activities at the winter market and last year, the activities were offered a few times at the outdoor market. Soderberg said she believes children’s activities will be offered every week this year at the outdoor market.

For more information visit the Downtown Beloit Association website at

Add to ReportView Custom Report