Worth farmers market coming to Metra lot

Last one was held in 2004

By Laura Bollin

Worth plans to resurrect its monthly farmers market this spring after an eight-year absence.

The farmers market will be held the third Sunday of the month from April through September in conjunction with a flea market in the Metra station parking lot at 110th Street and Depot Avenue, adjacent to Worth Village Hall. Worth Trustee Rich Dziedzic said he and village Clerk Bonnie Price started talking about the idea last year.

"We've got so much more space that way," Dziedzic said of holding the market in the Metra lot. "The whole idea to doing this, expanding the flea market and bringing in a farmers market, was to create more for our community. We want to bring in vendors to get people out of their houses and into the community, to buy corn or tomatoes or whatever it is."

The village used to hold a farmers market that was founded by late Worth Township Clerk Bud Gavin and late village Clerk Betty Mattera. The market closed in 2004 because the village was prohibited from hanging a 60-foot advertising banner at Harlem Avenue and 111th Street, according to Price.

"We couldn't do that anymore because it was probably dangerous, hanging someone over 111th Street," Price said.

The vendor fee for the farmers market or flea market is $20 for one market, and $15 for each additional market. The cost to vend at all six markets is $85.

Dziedzic, Price and the village's Economic Development Commission are working to bring farmers market vendors into the village.

"We're contacting 20 different vendors right now, and they sell fruit, vegetables, candles and homemade jams," Dziedzic said. "Realistically, if you have something to sell, come on out.

"My biggest reason for getting it going is the community involvement. We want to give people a place to go. Some of the byproducts of that is that people are going to get healthier food and get things they wouldn't normally get in a grocery store."

The flea market started in 2011, and was begun by Worth residents Joe and Diane Burke. The couple held five flea markets in 2011, and with Dziedzic's help held six in 2012. The 2012 markets were really scattered with respect to dates and people were getting burned out, Dziedzic said.

"We're doing it once a month this year, and there are quite a few other flea markets like Our Lady of the Ridge in Chicago Ridge and St. Bede's in Chicago that do the same thing," Dziedzic said.