The annual open-air market in Moline's Floreciente neighborhood, Mercado on Fifth, is open for the season.
Mercado on Fifth will run every Friday night from 5 to 10 p.m. to Sept. 27. The market opened this Friday. The fourth season features live music, food trucks, produce, retail vendors and children's activities. During this season, Mercado officials have enhanced the space with landscaping and seasonal light pole banners along 5th Avenue, between 11th and 12th streets.
The market aims to attract more people to the Floreciente neighborhood, plus increase community involvement and pride by offering economic opportunities to small and minority-owned businesses, according to a news release.
After canceling several events last year due to weather, Mercado on Fifth has secured a backup indoor location at Catalyst Kitchen, located inside St. John's Lutheran Church of Rock Island.
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And for the second consecutive year, Mercado also will host a series of monthly daytime flea markets on 5th Avenue in Moline. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Saturday of every month, June through September, vendors will sell new and used items.
Since 2016, Mercado on Fifth has helped create or provide a platform for about 15 new businesses. Mercado has awarded grants of up to $1,000 to 13 small minority-owned businesses this spring. The grants are used to purchase equipment and needed supplies, according to the release.
In collaboration with the market, the Small Business Development Center at Western Illinois University's Quad-Cities campus is offering free classes for aspiring entrepreneurs. The next class taught in Spanish is scheduled for 10 a.m. Monday, at the Moline Public Library.