It seems that the combination of food, drink, music, friends, and a cool & eclectic vibe is really working for the Rockford City Market, the weekly Friday get-together in Downtown Rockford that just finished its May through September run.

Kudos to all involved in putting the Rockford City Market together, as they've obviously discovered a great formula for drawing people of all ages and walks of life together.

Rockford City Market has broken another attendance record this year. In the 20-week season of the market, 107,365 people experienced Rockford City Market. This number surpasses the previous record of 101,860 people in 2015. Shoppers this season also experienced the two extremes of weather conditions. This season had the coldest opening day in market history on Friday, May 19, and the warmest September Friday in Rockford City Market history on September 22. Friday, September 29, the last market of the season, was also the most attended closing day in market history.

Cathy McDermott of the Rock River Development Partnership had this to say about the success and continued growth of the City Market:

"We're ecstatic about the increase in attendance at the market this year. We would like to thank all of the vendors this year as well as our generous sponsors, including our presenting sponsor, Mercyhealth. We will continue to listen to the shoppers and work to keep improving the market each year to make each season better than the last!"

During the 2017 season of Rockford City Market, a total of 76 vendors set up shop at the market. Of those 76 vendors, 19 were completely new to the market. New vendors included Fire Department Coffee, Swedish Soul Fusion, Edgewood Farm Organics, and 15th & Chris. During the 20-week season, there were 42 musical performances at the main stage under the pavilion and the acoustic stage at the north end of Water Street. 49 nonprofit organizations also volunteered their time at the market throughout the season. These organizations either ran the gates, or provided a free children's activity at the market.

If you haven't gotten to log enough time shopping in a farmer's market setting, you can do so at the North End City Market every Saturday morning from 9am-1pm through October 27. The North End City Market is located at the southeast corner of the intersection of North Main and Auburn Streets. Shoppers are able to purchase a variety of fresh produce, baked goods and prepared food at the market. There are also weekly music performances and activities for kids. The managers of Rockford City Market have also been running the North End City Market since 2015.