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3 French Hens French Country Market kicks off sixth season

Traci Tessone, one of the founders of the 3 French Hens Country Market, demostrates floral arranging during one of the markets held last season. Today's market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the first of the season.
Traci Tessone, one of the founders of the 3 French Hens Country Market, demostrates floral arranging during one of the markets held last season. Today's market from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. is the first of the season.

MORRIS – Voted one of the “Top of Five Markets in the Nation,” by Romantic Homes magazine, and one of the “Top 10” by Romantic Country, the 3 French Hens French Country Market is kicking off its sixth season today.

Organizers Monica Spence-Vogel and Traci Tessone think it embodies all that the market is, an open-air Euro-styled market featuring farmers produce, pies, jellies, gourmet cheeses, local honey, organics, perennials and fresh-cut flowers, as well as antiques, artisans and one of a kinds, according to a news release. It is held the second Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. May through October on the grassy banks of the historic Illinois & Michigan Canal off Illinois Avenue in Morris.

Tessone and Spence-Vogel, both shopkeepers at the time, originally started the market in an effort to increase foot traffic in downtown Morris. The goal is to show off all the community has to offer such as its boutiques, pubs and restaurants in town, along with trails for hiking and biking, the Illinois River for boating, all in an area rich in Native American folklore. 

What started out as a small-town venue with 30 vendors has rapidly grown to 130 plus, with vendor selections varying from month to month. The season opener today will showcase at least 130, with many first-time participants. There typically are 3,000 to 4,000 shoppers.

For information on shopping or selling, contact 815-513-5600 or 815-405-1365, or visit 3frenchhensmarket.blogspot.com.

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