Farmers market ready to open June 1

Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce tradition returns with some new safety precautions

Summer will look a little different in Hinsdale this year.

Restaurants will offer on-street dining, many camps will be virtual and Burlington Park will be quiet Thursday nights.

But at least one seasonal tradition will remain the same. Farmers and other vendors will return to Chicago Avenue for the 44th annual Hinsdale Chamber of Commerce Farmers Market.

"Our intentions all along were to open on time on June 1," said Claudia Thornton, marketing director for the chamber. "I spoke with the DuPage County Health Department and they just said as long as, obviously, we follow the government guidelines, we are OK."

Farmers, vendors and customers all will be required to wear masks and a "market coordinator" will be on hand to help facilitate social distancing.

"We will have a chamber table that will have some antibacterial (hand) gel. We are going to have a box of disposable masks for consumers that come to the market and forget their masks," Thornton said.

The market might look a little smaller than usual during June, due to COVID-19 regulations, which prohibit food preparation.

"The biggest change in the short-term will be no food sampling or on-site cooking in the beginning of the season," she added.

The hope is that by the end of June, the health department will issue permits for on-site cooking, Thornton said.

"We've got four vendors that can't start the season, but we do have vendors that are able to provide prepackaged food," she said, citing Azteca catering, Gandi Juice and Holy Pierogi.

Plans are still in the works to bring back the 8 a.m. fitness classes offered in conjunction with the farmer's market last year, Thornton said.

Businesses interested in reserving a table at the market to promote their business (no sales allowed) can do so at a cost of $50 for chamber members. Information is available on the chamber's website at

Thornton has heard from farmers and residents who have been looking forward to June 1.

"I think a lot of them are just really excited about the market opening and we're hoping that customers come out," she said. "We're getting some positive feedback on Facebook and email."

The chamber contacted the village's police and public works departments to make sure they had no objections to the market, Thornton said. The Monday morning time slot is less likely to draw massive crowds, and the open-air set-up mitigates the risk of transmission.

"We are so excited to be able to put on this event with everything going on," Thornton said, noting that the chamber was disappointed to have to cancel its Uniquely Thursdays summer concert series. "We're all going to be on site the morning of June 1 and hope and pray that it is a success."

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Pamela Lannom is editor of The Hinsdalean