We continue to update this page with frequently asked questions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
When will the Dane County Farmers' Market return to the Capitol Square?
The short answer: we do not know exactly when we will return to the Capitol Square.
We do not know when exactly we will return to the Capitol Square because our permit is dependent upon the status of the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, no one has a crystal ball to perfectly predict how the pandemic will unfold. The DCFM has historically been a large event that welcomes close to 20,000 customers every Saturday. At this time, it is still too risky for an event of our large size to operate downtown. However, as we hopefully and gradually phase back into normal life, it will become safer for an event of our size to operate. We continue to stay in contact with Public Health Madison Dane County and the Capitol Police (who issues our permit for the Capitol Square) so that we can best plan for our future downtown.
We are confident that we will return to the Capitol Square sometime during the 2021 season.
Until then, we continue to operate as an essential food access point at the Alliant Energy Center.
What is the current status of the Dane County Farmers' Market?
We are hosting Wednesday Local Food Pick Ups and a Saturday Market at the parking lot of the Exhibition Hall at the Alliant Energy Center. The Wednesday Local Food Pick Ups are a pre-order/drive-thru. The Saturday Market is a more traditional farmers' market with spontaneous shopping.
Can I use a credit card at the Saturday Market?
While SOME of our vendors accept credit cards or other alternative payments like Paypal or Venmo, ALL of our vendors accept cash. There is not an ATM on-site at the Alliant Energy Center, so please come prepared to shop.
How can I support local farmers at this time?
The best way to support our farmers is to continue to purchase their delicious local foods from them! Check out the Our Markets tab on our homepage to see which markets and/or local food pick ups we are operating currently.
Does the Dane County Farmers' Market participate in the FoodShare program?
Yes, for more information visit the EBT page.
What is the future of the Dane County Farmers' Market?
As an independent organization, entirely self-funded, we must be judicious and smart about our operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We work primarily at the nexus of two goals during the COVID-19 pandemic: to ensure the continued financial viability of the DCFM as an organization (so we can be around well into the future for our small family farmers and food producers) and to continue to provide safe and successful opportunities for our market members to connect with our patrons. On March 11th, we announced our plans to kick off our 2021 outdoor season at the Alliant Energy Center. These decisions reflect our two core goals.
At this time, the Capitol Police has not issued our permit for the Capitol Square as it is too risky for an event of our large size to operate downtown. We will continue to work with stakeholders at the City, County, and State levels to determine when it is safe for us to return to the Capitol Square. We are confident that we will be allowed to return to the Capitol Square sometime during the 2021 outdoor season.