PEORIA — The Peoria Riverfront Market has become known for its infusion of lively activity on the riverfront every Saturday during the summer months.
But for one Saturday this January, the market will return in an indoor setting to re-ignite the feeling of those warmer days with a mixture of local arts, crafts and frozen meats, if not an abundance of produce.
The indoor winter market will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 20, inside the River Station building, 212 SW Water St., which is adjacent to the lot the summertime market calls home. Specifically, it will be in the little-used back room behind Martinis on Water Street.
Though the winter months are a mostly dormant time on the riverfront, the Peoria Riverfront Association conceived the idea at the suggestion of the vendors that normally populate the Riverfront Market.
"We've had some interest and requests from our (summer) vendors," said Sharon Gramm, executive director of the Riverfront Association. "And we thought we could get more people down here in the winter."
Between 25 and 28 vendors will set up shop, with the majority of those selling artwork, crafts, baked goods and other assorted items. But Gramm confirmed that five farmers will be present with winter produce along with meat vendors offering frozen beef, chicken and pork.
Other hallmarks of the Riverfront Market will crop up at the winter date, including live music, coffee and scones. And the whole River Station building will take part in the event with its two other businesses opening early that day — Martinis for the mimosas and bloody marys and Blue Duck Barbecue Tavern for food and drink.
The one-off market will serve as a trial run, gauging whether more market dates during the non-summer months can be held in the future. The interest is there from the vantage point of the vendors, Gramm said, and now the Riverfront Association can determine if the market proves winter as a viable option as well.
Thomas Bruch can be reached at 686-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasBruch.