Citing a lack of vendors participating, the Village of Forest Park canceled the Forest Park Farmers’ Market, which was to be held every Friday afternoon during the summer in the Forest Park Picnic Grove.
“I’m sorry this has happened, but vendor participation is greatly down,” said Community Center Director Karen Dylewski in a village press release. According to the release, only six vendors had agreed to come to Forest Park and Dylewski called that number, “insufficient to make this successful.”
The press release said customer turnout last summer was “pretty light,” and that even Jessica Rinks, of Purple Leaf Farms had “bowed out.” Rinks, a Forest Park resident and Director of the Forest Park Community Garden was denied a renewal of her micro-farm plot’s lease on village-owned land behind the Altenheim and decided to move operations to Elgin.
Dylewski said in the press release that vendors from the nearby Oak Park Farmers’ Market were approached to come to Forest Park, but declined because the two markets were held on back-to-back days. She said Forest Parkers could easily make it to Oak Park if they want to buy fresh produce.
“Oak Park has a terrific Farmers’ Market and they are in such close proximity that we really don’t need to be in this business,” she said. “We gave it a gallant effort, but I’m happy to leave it in their capable hands.”
According to the press release, Mayor Anthony Calderone noted that the Chamber of Commerce’s French Market, attempted for a number of years, was also unsuccessful. “If [the Farmers’ Market] just doesn’t work, we need to move on,” Calderone said.