Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive gives people the chance to shop small, discover communities

Local News

FARMINGTON, Ill. (WMBD) — The Spoon River Valley Scenic Drive is a yearly celebration of arts, history, and culture in West Central Illinois.

The drive spans the Spoon River Valley, from Farmington to Astoria. All participating communities set up vendor fairs and flea markets. The 2021 drive wrapped up Sunday, Oct. 10. Vendors said it has become a community tradition.

“I mean, I’ve been coming ever since I was a kid,” said vendor Josh Hawkins.

Nicole Debis, a partial business owner for the family business “Hello Honey,” hosted a vendor booth in Farmington’s Reed Park. She said it’s a great opportunity to bring people from outside the area to shop small.

“Just to help the local businesses,” Debis said. “It helps the community out and it really develops great relationships too.”

Artist Josh Hawkins said the items on display are truly unique.

“I think everyone here, it’s all handmade goods, by them,” he said, “So you can come and find one-of-a-kind things you’re not going to find on Amazon.”

Inside the Farmington firehouse near Reed Park, “Roadside Sweet Pickn’s” set up shop like they do every year. Vendor Karen Peterson said the drive spurs community pride.

“Hopefully it brings a lot of people to our area to see what talented people there are out there and the good things about Central Illinois,” she said.

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