Rockford City Market opened for the first season on June 11, 2010, welcoming nearly 1,000 visitors including families, young professionals, kids and seniors.
By the end of the first season the market had a total of nearly 20,000 visitors and 40 vendors. The second season grew to 40,000 visitors and 60 vendors, and the third season had almost 60,000 visitors and 70 vendors. Today, we have increased out space and layout and have grown to over 70 vendors and around 100,000 visitors per season.
The market takes place every Friday during the summer months along Water Street between State and Jefferson Streets in downtown Rockford. It includes local growers and vendors who sell natural products including vegetables, fruits, eggs, meats, cheeses, flowers, herbs, baked goods, and healthy snacks. Also included are artisans and vendors with other unique offerings. Most vendors and performers come from a 150-mile radius, ensuring locally grown produce and unique retail items.
Patrons can try local brews (both beer and coffee) while listening to live local music which takes place each market under the Pavilion structure. There are also demonstrations and kids' activities to ensure a fun and interactive learning environment for the younger crowd.
- To provide a weekly ritual in downtown Rockford for residents and visitors to enjoy.
- To promote the sale of locally grown or produced products.
- To grow jobs and businesses by offering the opportunity for local entrepreneurs to test and refine their products, thereby encouraging business incubation or expansion of local businesses to downtown Rockford.
- To provide an educational forum for patrons to learn the uses and benefits of quality, locally grown or prepared food products.
- To make locally grown and produced food and other goods accessible to the community.