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Downtown Merchants Announce Summer Line-Up

Mokena's Downtown Merchants Association is excited about the summer line-up for the second annual Farmers Market.

The Mokena Downtown Merchants Association updated Village trustees about their plans for this summer's farmers market.

Association spokesperson Charlene Bergman told the Village Board on Monday that the second season of the farmers market was going to be bigger and better this year. Already more than 40 vendors, including civic groups, have signed on as regulars for booths at the Saturday farmers market.

The season is set to begin on April 27 and ends Oct. 26. There will be plenty of fresh baked good, crafts and specialty items, filling spots along Front Street, said Bergman.

In addition, the Downtown Merchants Association has booked a variety of acts set to appear on two stages. This year a main stage will feature some famed regional talent, performing everything from bluegrass music to pop songs.

A second stage, referred to as the Show Case stage, is designated for upcoming and rising local stars. "We want to give local talent a chance to perform," a spokesperson said.  

In other business, the village board approved an updated version of building codes, including electrical requirements, It's been five years since the last update, said Al Zordan, village economic development director. It's in keeping with current codes.

The board also approved a solicitation request by Boy Scout Troop 40 for a fundraising effort.

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Jim Giglio March 27, 2013 at 01:00 AM
Congratulations Char , Vince Difiore and the merchants for your hard work and dedication and great success showcasing what Mokena's business owners and residents can do when given the opportunity. Can't wait to visit and shop this year !
Terry March 27, 2013 at 02:33 AM
Keep Difore and the rest of them running the glorified flea market where they belong and not running anymore than that.
MM2 March 27, 2013 at 01:34 PM
Running anymore of what... Mokena into the ground like it 's being run now. How about we elect those that want to represent US.
Vince DiFiore March 27, 2013 at 04:11 PM
Mr or MRS. MM would rather have to French running the market than local business people, even Joe Swinski would not agree with them on that. Most of the present trustees voted to put it on Front St. The Bergmans life long residents of Mokena are doing a great job running the Market. The French Market were gouging the venders to the tune of $58.00 per week, we charge about 1/2 that. The French Market had 10 vendors we have 50-60. We showcase local talent almost every week. The village had to put up the sheds every week , we pay local people to do that. I'ts called free enterprise.MM must have feel we needed foreginers to run our Market. We believe in helping to USA.One more thing I will be working at the Market win or lose. While your still drinking the KOOL-AID.
Charlene Bergman March 27, 2013 at 06:47 PM
Mr. Mokena Man -- I am sorry that you feel as if we are running a glorified flea market. I feel that this is just one isolated opinion and you have the right to have that. We have tried extremely hard to promote and operate the Mokena Downtown Merchant's Market. We feel especially priviledged that the Village gave us the opportunity to operate this market.We have AT PRESENT - FOR THIS YEAR 42 vendors signed up to be at the market. This number includes full time and parttime vendors and also civic groups who will set up a booth at the market periodically.These vendors are local vendors and some out of state vendors. I feel that we should be given the same oppertunity that the French Market had - which was a ten year period - to show what we can do without receiving any remarks as you posted. If you are unhappy with what we have accomplished to date - I will issue you an invitation to stop by on opening day - April 27th and discuss this with the Mokena Merchants and the Market Master. By all accounts the feedback we have heard from most people - including the Village is that we have done a great job and they are happy with what has happened to the Market. The French Market had approximately ten (TEN) vendors the last year they were in operation. We pay for our own insurance covering the events that we promote - we pay for bathroom facilities - we have purchased a number of tents for use weekly by the Market - we have purchased tables and chairs for Market attendees to use.
Charlene Bergman March 27, 2013 at 07:03 PM
We have purchased benchs that are used for the market and during the off season they are located on the street by local businesses for use by their customers and Village residents walking on the street. The French Market were charging the vendors $50.00 to $60.00 weekly for their vendor charge - we charge $25.00 weekly for a full time vendor and $35.00 weekly for a parttime vendor. The Village transported the canopies from Village storage on Friday to the lot for set up and then returned on Saturday for pickup to return to storage for another week. VILLAGE EXPENSE - The labor part of this operation was paid for by somebody - perhaps the Village. We want to be self reliant and not cost the Village any monies and I believe that we are getting to that position.We appreciate all of the help that we have received from the Village Board and also from Mark and his crew in the Street Department. We have provided entertainment last year and are again contracting for entertainment this year. Mr. DiFiore has been very helpful to the market in contacting/contracting and providing entertainment for the market. We appreciate all of his efforts. This is not an easy job. We now see that the NL French Market is also providing entertainment - oh what a surprise - they have started advertising for vendors for their market - oh what a surprise - Copy Cats.
Charlene Bergman March 27, 2013 at 07:06 PM
Now for my question to you -- What have you done for the Village to help promote business in this area or any area - you have just gotten on Patch - taken your pot shots under the name of Mokena Man so no one can then take you to task or point a finger at you. You hide behind your own shadow - BE A MAN OR A WOMAN AND come to discuss this in person - I will bet you don't.Go ahead and live your life and once in awhile get your head out of the sand and be a citizen who wants to be a part of the reformation of Front Street and the Downtown area. Thank you.
Jim Giglio March 27, 2013 at 08:46 PM
Dear Ann, I find it troubling that you did not mention the spokesperson you identify in the "Merchant article" by name ? His name is Vince Difiore and he has worked tirelessly since last March to put the market together with Char and many others to make the market successful. Yes, he is running for Trustee in Mokena but he never mentioned the election and has been involved with the market since its inception which was well before he became a candidate. This was not the first meeting that Vince has talked about and promoted the Market which makes your failure to mention his name was blatantly obvious and quite disrespectful. It would not indicate any form of endorsement and should have been done.
Ann Piasecki March 29, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Hi Jim; Actually the reason I didn't mention his name was because I couldn't hear it clearly. It absolutely nothing to do with politics. Thank you, Ann
Jim Giglio March 31, 2013 at 04:05 PM
Understand, Thank You ! Happy Easter

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