The Community Public Market in downtown Appleton is open for business, thanks to a grant from the Bright Idea Fund within the Community Foundation. The existing weekly Winter Farm Market is transformed into a vibrant, once-a-month Public Market in the Fox Cities Exhibition Center bringing together food producers, small businesses, artisans, health and wellness resources, children’s activities and a wide variety of entertainment.
By Lynn Schemm, marketing director, Appleton Downtown Inc.
The Community Public Market highlights and showcases all that makes downtown Appleton a must-visit destination, with live music, retail shopping, tasty food, family-friendly activities, and so much more. There truly is something for everyone!! If you missed our grand opening on Saturday, February 8, this event will also happen March 21st and April 18th from 9 am to 3 pm. Each month will feature a mixed lineup of vendors, entertainment, and activities, allowing repeat visitors to explore and discover more of what makes downtown Appleton “One Great Place!”
Our opening day featured 90 vendors, ready to interact with members of the community inside the Fox Cities Exhibition Center. With over 3,000 people who attended and shopped local, it was a successful event for all! For those who missed it, think of the outdoor farm market but with a fun new twist.
For this event, it was really important to keep the energy and experience similar to the outdoor farm market. We transported the farm market, that in the past has taken place every Saturday morning inside the City Center, and put it in the Fox Cities Exhibition Center once a month. This provided more space for new vendors and offerings plus an expanded timeframe, so the event lasts all day from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Fox Cities Exhibition Center was transformed to look like a mini downtown Appleton offering all of what we know and love. It was organized into five different sections: Farm Market Square, Artisan Alley, Wellness Walk, Tasty Trail, Retail Road, and Play & Learn Lane. As you walk the Community Public Market, attendees stroll down Tasty Trial to enjoy delicious bites from downtown restaurants, turn the corner and be in Retail Road to shop some of the favorite locally owned businesses that are the heartbeat to downtown, skip onto Play & Learn Lane to embrace lifelong learning and play with hands-on activities and resources for all, and peruse Wellness Walkway to gain resources on many health and wellness topics such as mental health, sensory deprivation, and more. Attendees will also find themselves walking down Artisan Alley featuring local artist creations and live art demonstrations as well as Farm Market Square to pick up the must-have, fresh, locally produced food including meat, cheese, root vegetables, eggs, baked goods, and many other favorite products from farm market vendors. Within these vendors, you will find some of your favorite summer farm market vendors and maybe even find some new favorites.
The great thing about this event is that it is the perfect one-stop-shop for everything you might need in the Fox Cities in one indoor space. It truly is a community market as it allows you to support local businesses across the board: locally sourced produce and food, small businesses, local nonprofits, local performers, and more.
See you for the next Community Public Market on March 21st!
Want to help bright ideas burn even brighter? Learn how to get involved as a donor, or learn how to apply for a Bright Idea grant as a nonprofit organization. Check out our current Bright Idea Fund results from 2019 – 2020!