New Farmer's Market Opens Friday Night
A new outdoor market will open tomorrow in Moline's Floreciente neighborhood. The first Mercado on Fifth will start at five pm, with vendors and music, followed by a family movie.
Maria Ontiveros, Operating Manager of the market, says her grandfather, Bob Ontiveros, came up with the idea. It's part of his efforts to improve the neighborhood where he grew up. The retired founder of Group O is funding the market, so the vendors don't have to pay a fee. "From produce to crafts and domestic and international retail items, food trucks and drinks. We also have neighborhood organizations who will tell people about their programming."
This first season for Mercado on Fifth will be held every Friday night through October, with hopes of expanding next summer. She says many people who live in the area have an entrepreneurial spirit.
"We hope to inspire them to get their businesses ready for next year. And we want to work with people who sell tamales from their house. We really want to help those home cooks get into a registered kitchen, get them certified, and walk them through the process."
Ontiveros also says many residents of the Floreciente neighborhood don't drive. So they'll be able to buy food at Mercado on Fifth without having to walk, bike, or take the bus to a grocery store.
The market's grand opening will be held Friday from 5 until 9 p.m., with music by the Crooked Cactus Band. It will be located in the parking lot of Community Health Care in Moline, along 5th Avenue and 11th Street. Afterward, the movie "Selena" will be shown on a big screen in the Boys and Girls Club soccer field, right across the street.