Outdoor City Market returns bigger and better next week

The market opens May 20 from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
The afternoon's first look at events making news today.
Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:18 PM CDT
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - Outdoor City Market opens for the season on Friday, May 20.

Organizers say the 2022 season will have a pre-pandemic feel to it. Each week it will be open from 4 to 8:30 p.m.

Market Engagement Director Becca Bartels says 70 vendors will fill downtown Rockford every Friday. Most are returning businesses, but there are 20 new shops to check out.

“We had 66 in 2019. So, we’re a little bit above average, which is really cool. Our vendors go all across the board as far as categories. We’ve got produce, jewelry, honey, bakeries, all sorts of different prepared foods and food trucks,” says Bartels. “Anything that you can imagine, basically, will be outside this year.”

A rotating activity booth joins the market as a unique addition this year. Bartels says it will feature organizations like the mobile library, the Rock Valley College Tech Bus, and Big Timber Axe Throwing.

The 2022 season will feature more vendors in the downstairs area of indoor City Market.

“That’s something we started last year. We actually opened up the garage doors to our indoor market building, and we have different rotating local businesses downstairs,” she says. “We have different vendors who have committed to a shorter season.”

City Market visitors also get the chance to experience 12 different local music groups throughout the 20 weeks on the main stage.

“I think that a lot of planning and a lot of passion has gone into this summer, and I think we’re really excited to kind of see that come into fruition Friday.”

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