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Rockford City Market playing important role in downtown resurgence

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) – Friday night didn’t always mean Rockford’s downtown would be bustling, but that changed about ten years ago.

Supporters believe Rockford City Market is a big reason for it.

Friday afternoons in the 815 means stopping at Rockford City Market for hundreds of people. But this Friday, the Race To The Market 5K drew in even more. Market vendors say it’s good for business.

“Anything that can draw more people down here is wonderful,” said 808 Cheesecake co-owner Kelsi Getty. “I think I can speak for everybody that more people means more business.”

Roscoe business owner Kelsi Getty is offering her cheesecake creations at city market for a second year. She says the combination of good weather and downtown events always brings in a good crowd.

“Anytime that it’s gorgeous out, people flock downtown,” said Getty. “So, it’s great.”

This year marks the market’s tenth anniversary, dozens of vendors sell everything from food to home goods.

“We’ve noticed we’ve been way busier this year than last year,” said Getty. “I think that’s part of our name getting out there but also I think its gaining in popularity, the city market.”

Also among the vendors was Candle Crest co-owner Dave Bieck.

“We were one of the first that were down here and its grown considerably since then,” said Bieck.

The candle business owner say it’s been exciting to watch Rockford improve.

“We’ve had such a depressed area down here,” said Bieck. “The revitalization over the last ten years in this downtown area is really quite amazing.”

Bieck says that progression has set up the summer staple for great success.

“When we first started we were a merchant market and there were very few food vendors,” said Bieck. “There was Woodfire Pizza and a couple of others but now its turned more into a Friday afternoon party.”

Multiple downtown businesses are offering specials in honor of the market’s 10th year:

London Avenue Designs, 510threads and Ground Floor Skateboards offering 10% off
Wired Cafe’ $10 box lunches,
J. R. Kortman Center for Design 10% off on purchases over $20 except fine art,
Northern Illinois Optical Co. 10% off Ray-Ban frames,
Bath & Body Fusion several specials,
Rockford IceHogs $10 Upper endzone tickets opening night 10/12,
Cj’s Public House $1 off craft drafts,
Rocktown Adventures buy one get one 50% on apparel,
Minglewood Boutique buy one get one 50% off on clothing and jewelry,
Salvaged by Sonya 50% off all Estate jewelry throughout entire store.
Special dates vary; please check with the stores for specifics.

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