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Mercado on Fifth opens season on Friday

Mercado on Fifth opens season on Friday


Mercado on Fifth will open for the summer on Friday in downtown Moline.

The weekly open-air market runs from 5 to 9 p.m. every Friday through Oct. 26.

Mercado on Fifth director Maria Ontiveros said the market has about 45 vendors signed up and is still accepting applications. More food trucks have been added, including a Venezuelan hot dog vendor called A World of Flavors and Cafe Ole, a coffee truck serving specialty coffee drinks and food items, she said.

"I think a lot of people are excited about this upcoming season," Ontiveros said. "I have a lot of people coming to me with ideas for collaboration, like teaching yoga, or making pinatas with kids."

Mercado on Fifth has been approved for a liquor license this year, which will allow Bent River beer and Creekside Vineyards wine to be sold.

"We also have a mobile bar being built called La Cantina Latina out of an old VW van," Ontiveros said. "It's being built by (artist) Abel Zertuche."

Ontiveros also has introduced music to the market, with different bands playing every Friday night.

Ontiveros said this will be the third season for Mercado on Fifth, which was the brainchild of her grandfather, Bob Ontiveros, founder of Milan-based company Group O.

Ontiveros will celebrate his 80th birthday at Mercado on Fifth on Aug. 17 with music provided by the Texas band La Sombra. There will be a $10 cover charge that day, which will serve as a fundraiser to keep the market going.

Maria Ontiveros said food vendors will have access to a community kitchen this year.

With a grant from Global Communities, the John Deere Foundation's neighborhood initiative, the Palomares Social Justice Center has teamed up with St. John's Lutheran Church in Rock Island to open the community kitchen.

"This will allow food vendors who don't have a commercial kitchen space to come and prepare their food," Ontiveros said. "It will serve as a commissary to prepare their foods or go back and wash their dishes. (Vendors) will have to transport the food to the market."

Ontiveros said any food vendor can apply to use the community kitchen. She said she saw a need for such a service after the Food Hub closed in November.

Mercado on Fifth also will expand to offering a flea market every other Sunday beginning June 17 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The Sunday markets will be called La Pulga, or "flea market" in Spanish. The market is seeking vendors, who will pay $5 for a large space each week. Food vendors will pay $15 per Sunday.

Vendors interested in participating in the markets can contact Ontiveros at 941-343-7579, or email

The cost is $10 per week for an 11-foot-by-11-foot space for a retail vendor, or $40 per week for food truck vendors for Mercado on Fifth.


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