GENOA – After a record number of vendors applied to be part of Genoa Main Street’s Open Air Markets last year, the organization has widened the boundaries of the market to include an adjacent block.
“We were surprised and pleased by the increase in demand for spaces last year,” said Mim Evans, Main Street executive director. “This year we are ready for nearly 50 vendors.”
The markets are held the fourth Saturday of each month, May through October, in Genoa’s municipal parking lot at the corner of Main and Genoa Streets. After scrambling to fit all of last year’s vendors into the lot, this year, Main Street officially widened the market to include South Genoa Street.
“We appreciate the cooperation of the city of Genoa,” Evans said. “We couldn’t host the market without the use of city property. This location is terrific because more than 10,000 vehicles pass by every day.”
Shoppers will be treated to sidewalk sales and a different special event at each market.
“We have decided to take the activities that have been held on one Saturday at Summer Farm Fest and spread them over the six-Saturday market season, with something exciting at each market,” said Gene Bradford, Genoa Main Street vice president and promotions chair.
The first market in May falls on Memorial Day weekend. It will have a patriotic theme and feature more than a dozen Quilts of Valor made by visitors to Genoa’s Quilt & Fiber Arts Walk last January. Later markets will have live music, tractor displays, a live antique auction and scarecrow building as well as games and contests.
Evans said they attract shoppers not only for market vendors, but also for downtown businesses. The markets also are business incubators. Vendors can test products at the market at a very low cost. Two market vendors became business owners.
Vendors sell a variety of items, including fresh produce, crafts, flea market finds, new items and more. A reduced space rental fee is available for nonprofits.
To reserve a space at the market, email the Main Street office at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 815-784-6961. Reservation forms are also available at genoamainstreet.com.