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Evening market set to run in downtown Batavia this summer

Fans of Batavia’s winter indoor and summer outdoor markets will have a third shopping option starting this summer.

The Batavia MainStreet group’s new evening market is set to run from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays in June, July and August, group officials said.

Batavia MainStreet Executive Director Beth Walker said the market will be held on River Street, similar to the summer farmers market “but on a smaller scale.”

“This will be smaller than the Saturday market. We are looking at about 20 vendors that will be situated on the brick portion between Wilson and State streets,” she said. “We wanted to limit the vendors at this point because it can be overwhelming sometimes if you have so many people down there like on a Saturday. It can interfere with parking for customers downtown and we want to make sure we have some great vendors there with a lot of variety.”

Walker said some of the mainstay vendors from other markets will be participating including fruit vendor Flat Tire Farm from Michigan “who have been with our markets from the beginning” as well as Mighty Greens from Elburn which offers “delicious greens and fresh vegetables.”

“We have six new vendors to the Batavia market and we were just thinking small but still getting a wide variety of product,” she said.

Categories of vendors at the new evening market will include fresh-baked goods, a coffee vendor, a couple of vendors selling ready-to-eat options including the local Thai Village restaurant, a frozen deep-dish pizza vendor, Italian desserts and pasta, a meat vendor and those selling hot sauces, honey and empanadas, officials said.

“People will still be able to do their shopping and get a lot of things but just on a smaller scale,” Walker said. “We felt because of weekend conflicts and people working we wanted to offer people another alternative. Wednesday nights – it’s another night to get people in and about downtown.

“The park district also offers the River Rhapsody concert series on Wednesday nights, so we thought we’d take advantage of those people being downtown. They can pick up something to take to the music and just get people moving more around Batavia,” Walker said. “A lot of businesses will be staying open later on those nights too.”

Walker said there are discussions about eventually adding more vendors to the new market and “there is still some discussion about the placement of River Street and how that will look.”

“Once the city finalizes that, we’ll have a better idea if we can fill more spots and if we can we definitely will,” she said.

The idea for an evening market has been kicked around for years, Walker said.

“It gives those people who can’t come out on a Saturday another option,” she said. “We started firmly working on this in February.”

June 5 is planned as opening day for the new evening market, with Aug. 28 the final session for the summer.

“This will be the first year and we’ll see how people like it,” Walker  said. “If they do, maybe we’ll make it a little longer.”

David Sharos is a freelance reporter for The Beacon-News.

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