Dole market to celebrate return to outdoors in May with twice as many vendors

Last indoor market will take place April 24

After a successful inaugural season, the Dole’s Open Air Farmers Market+ is scheduled to run again from late May to October, an organizer said.

“We opened with a bang,” event cofounder Sharon LeCoque said. “Our market exploded very quickly, and we’re just really excited to be moving back outdoors again. It’s such a fun vibe.”

LeCoque started the market up last June with her husband, Jay, who is vice president of the Lakeside Legacy Foundation board, which oversees the Dole Mansion and Lakeside Arts Park.

In just its first season, the American Farmland Trust voted the Dole Market+ the top farmers market in Illinois and among the top three in the Midwest.

“It was supposed to end in September,” LeCoque said. “But everybody wanted to keep going.”

This year, the “free and fabulous” outdoor market will be expanding from 36 to at least 77 vendors – LeCoque is still going through applications – and will host a car show on June 12, she said.

In addition to vendors, the market will have food trucks, live music, a lemonade stand and a cash bar that specializes in bloody marys. The opening day of the market also will include free cones from Julie Ann’s Frozen Custard, LeCoque said.

The last indoor market will be this Sunday, April 24. The open air market begins May 29 and will run every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with the exception of June 26 and July 3, because of the Dole’s Lakeside Festival.

The Dole Mansion is located at 401 Country Club Road in Crystal Lake.

Aaron Dorman

Aaron Dorman

Medill graduate and upstate-NY native now covering Crystal Lake and surrounding towns and cities.