ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford’s outdoor city market opens this Friday, bringing in new vendors and a new location underneath the Jefferson Street bridge.
The market, which attracts over 70 vendors to its pavilion on Water and State Street in downtown Rockford, has expanded expeditiously since its inception in 2010. 70,000 patrons visited the market in 2013. By 2019, that number swelled to over 110,000, and word spread quickly.
“We do other markets in different areas and everyone kept telling us ‘you need to go be in Rockford City Market,'” said Katelyn Glavac, owner of CheeseKake Ko.
Glavac’s cheesecakes will be among the 20 new additions to the market this year. The Rochelle-based baker says markets like Rockford City are crucial for small businesses like Cheesekake Ko.
“I really don’t think we could have [succeeded] without the markets, because they bring in so much business and they spread our name like wildfire out there,” said Glavac. “I think Rockford City Market is going to open up a whole new window of opportunities for us.”
In addition to new vendors, a new location under the Jefferson Street bridge will host vendors previously located on State Street, allowing traffic to remain open.
“That’s kind of going to be a cool different food truck hub area that we’ve created with some different beverage stations, a bunch of different food trucks and seating,” said Becca Bartels, Director of Market Engagement for Rockford City.
The market is open every Friday through September 29th, from 4:30-8:30 until Labor Day and 4:30-7:30 after.