A one-stop experience might help shoppers who are starting to make holiday gift purchases and who like to patronize local businesses.
The Fort Wayne Village Marketplace returns this weekend after being canceled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The event is at the SportONE Parkview Fieldhouse, 3946 Ice Way. Today’s hours are 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday’s hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
About 3,500 attended the first couple of years, Kim Boyce, one of the event organizers, said Thursday. She and friends Jill Ramsey and Lyndsay Davis started the Village Marketplace in 2018 and formed Summit City Events.
“The first year we had people lined up and wrapped around the building waiting to get in,” Boyce said by phone. “People have been very receptive to the concept.”
More than 100 shops will be set up this weekend at SportONE, according to a news release.
A $5 admission fee is required for ages 12 and older to attend, but parking is free. The first 500 adults each day will receive a Vera Bradley Market Tote.
“We wanted to create a holiday show that supports shop local small businesses that includes actual brick and mortar stores as well as designers and handmade goods artisans,” Boyce said through email. “We have gradually added more and more elements to the event every year to help it grow.”
Local vendors at the event, including artisans, designers and boutiques, will have a range of items such as clothing, accessories, home décor, pet items and gourmet foods. Vendors selling other food and beverages will be on-site, too.
The Village Marketplace fills SportONE with live trees and holiday music, the release said. Local musical talent, the Best Kept Secret, will perform from 6 to 8 p.m. today.