ALTON – Alton Main Street's Night Market will return this year, but in a different (and more focal) location.

Once housed in a spacious warehouse on the property of the now-defunct Elijah P's, the Night Market prospered every Thursday night in Alton. Thanks to a June vote from the Alton City Council, the Night Market will now be housed along the Broadway Corridor. Not only will this assist with the organization's goal of bringing attention to the up-and-coming area of Alton teeming with new businesses such as the Brown Bag Bistro and Germania, but it will also answer the demands of many of takers of an Alton Main Street-sponsored survey which called for more outdoor events.

Alton Main Street Promotions Chair Sally Kirbach said the event will take place along Broadway in the vicinity of Jacoby Center for the Arts, Germania Brew Haus, Golden Road Organic and the newly-moved Lighthouse Sounds. The interior of Jacoby will also house about a dozen vendors and a small pocket park next to the art center will provide space for a handful of more vendors as well as bands, who will play near the bottom of the small park's incline

The first such Night Market this season will be this Thursday, July 12. They will last from 7-10 p.m. Kirbach said the later start was in response to several requests from former patrons.

“A lot of people said the biggest problem was the heat of the day,” she said. “We really can't do anything to change that, so we're going to do our best to avoid it if possible. Plus, we will have some indoor vendors inside Jacoby.

Around 25 vendors are already onboard the first Night Market outing, Kirbach said. Most vendors feature artisan and entrepreneurial goods with a focus on handmade items and clothing. The first band for the event will be Hideous Gentlemen. Other acts later in the season include Erin Jo Paddlefoot, Hookie, Raw Earth and more. Kirbach said a few slots for bands are open, adding people could privately message her on Facebook for further booking information.

They are also seeking local business sponsors for the events, and event sponsor forms will be made available through Alton Main Street. Kirbach said businesses interested in sponsoring nights may receive special perks and even be invited to have a mobile shop of their own to sell some of their goods.

These Night Markets will go through August, Kirbach said. She said this large logistical location change would not have been possible without the head of her committee co-chair, Elissa Sexton of Riverbender.com, and the rest of her promotions team as well as Alton Main Street Executive Director Sara McGibany and the rest of the community and local businesses supporting their efforts.

Reporter Cory Davenport can be reached via call or text at (618) 419-3046 or via email at cory@riverbender.com

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