According to its website, River City Marketplace – “Where Artists and Community Connect” – was conceived as a way to showcase local talent and products, and create an opportunity for people who believe that shopping small and shopping locally is essential to helping our community and local economy.
I am certainly in support of shopping locally and helping to support our local Sacramento crafters and creatives in any way that I can, so I was very interested to learn how River City Marketplace operates.
I checked out the Vendor FAQs, and learned that booth space is rented to the vendors, and that they in turn are responsible for building their shop/storefront. Vendors also must apply and have their application approved in order to participate. Local vendors are preferred, and among the criteria upon which the application is judged are high quality and whether the item is unique or unusual.
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The Vendor FAQs also states: “We will not accept any applications submitted by corporate contractors, wholesale consultants, or mass-produced manufactured items. Generally, if you bought the item you are attempting to sell (vintage/antique excluded) this is not the event for you.”
With this background in mind, I headed over to McKinley Park on Saturday morning to check out it out.
River City Marketplace was scheduled to be open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., but since we have had several triple-digit days in a row I started walking to McKinley Park a few minutes before the scheduled opening.
It was actually quite nice out, and there were lots of joggers and dog walkers in and around McKinley Park. The River City Marketplace event was located between the McKinley Park Rose Garden and Alhambra Boulevard along H Street.
There were quite a few people already at the event when I arrived, including a number of folks who had just finished participating in Yoga in the Park.
I made my way up and down the “aisles”, making sure that I did not miss any of the “shops”. There was quite a variety of different wares on display. There was also a food truck and other food and beverage vendors open for business.
Two of the “shops” were actually mobile showrooms – a very cool idea as there was no need to set up shop. I imagine that many of the vendors arrived very early in the morning to set up their tents and to put their wares on display. In fact, some vendors were still arranging or re-arranging their shops as I walked by.
I stopped by the Burly Beverages tent and tried a sample of their ginger beer syrup. I also stopped to smell handmade soaps and aromatherapy oils, and I admired handcrafted jewelry, pottery and hand-carved spoons, among other things. Before I left I stopped by The Bee Box tent and purchased some local (Sacramento Valley wildflower) honey.
All in all it was a pleasant way to spend part of the morning, and I was glad to be able to simply walk over to McKinley Park to do so.
Note: River City Marketplace will next be at Tahoe Park on Saturday, September 23 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 14 at Fremont Park from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Did you stop by the River City Marketplace event in McKinley Park? Any comments or observations to add?
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