Rockford City Market set to expand in 2021 season

The market will feature an expanded footprint, which will close State Street every Friday from Wyman to First Street.
Updated: May. 7, 2021 at 4:55 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Friday night summertime fun is set to return to the Stateline as Rockford City Market prepares to welcome thousands back downtown but not without some changes.

“It’s a great place for all of us to be community citizens together,” Rock River Development Partnership Chair Peter Provenzano said.

From live music performances to food truck fun some of the best Rockford City Market has to offer is set to return May 21.

“The markets open to everyone we want everybody down here this summer and every summer,” Provenzano said.

Things will look a little bit different this year with state street being blocked off to expand the footprint from Wyman to First Street visitors and vendors will flood the roadway.

“I think you should be feeling more comfortable this year with this event because now you’ll have the social distance,” Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara said.

City market leaders hope new vendors and new activities will draw new visitors downtown.

“We’re going to bring all of that diverse experience of programming down to city market every single Friday night,” Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine said.

“We’ve got over 50 vendors starting the market this year with us which is I think a great number coming out of the pandemic,” Provenzano said.

The expansion covers crosswalks that were an area where protests were held last summer. Officials would not confirm if the protests play a role in the expansion efforts. Community Activist Leslie Rolfe says he will be there regardless.

“The May 30th Alliance will be at city market May 21,” Rolfe said.

“Number one we absolutely respect and appreciate the right of anyone to protest, but number two if you break a city of Rockford ordinance or if you break the law we will either cite you or arrest you,” McNamara said.

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