Coming soon: the Riverwalk Market Fair

Riverwalk Market Fair signArt On Water Gallery, home of the Riverwalk Arts Quarter I noticed a ‘Riverwalk Market Fair’ sign on the door of Dean Kjerland’s Art On Water Gallery on Water Street, now home to the Riverwalk Arts Quarter (RAQ).

A Google search on the phrase ‘Riverwalk Market Fair’ brings up a single result, this week’s March 9 City Council packet:

The City has received a request from Riverwalk Market Fair to use public spaces between 2nd and 5th Street (Bridge Square and Riverwalk area) for a summer market. The event is proposed for Saturday’s 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. from May through October. The proposed market would feature local fine arts, fine crafts, cut flowers, local produce, artisan foods and other products as well as musicians and street performers. The Riverwalk Market Fair has filed to become a Minnesota nonprofit organization.

The RAQ web site and RAQ Facebook group make no mention of this exciting development. Anyone have details?


  1. Gail Jones Hansen said:

    Riverwalk Market Fair promises to be one of Northfield’s most exciting, family-friendly summer events! Check out . The website is still under construction but you’ll get an idea of the scope of the proposed offerings . . . fine art, fine craft, organic produce, fresh cut flowers, artisan baked goods, and much more. We hope to see all of you there! For more info, or information about becoming a vendor, please call 507-786-7900 507-786-9700

    March 11, 2010
  2. Anne Sawyer said:

    Hey, first-time LG poster here. Go me! Anyway, I have no further information about the RAQ… BUT given the lack of information, I’m concerned about how this Saturday morning event will hurt/enhance the Saturday farmer’s market at Riverside. I see that they’d like to include local produce, but they make no mention of the current local market and the location of their event doesn’t include Riverside. Additionally, I have a feeling that the current farmer’s market vendors aren’t going to want to lug their goods down to the Riverwalk, but I can’t say for sure since I’m not a vendor (yet!). I have concerns that the competition between these events might not be beneficial.. However, I’m sure that there could be great potential for these organizations to work together… Anybody else have any information?

    March 11, 2010
  3. Anne Sawyer said:

    Well, I found the answer to my question by going to the source. I sent an email to the RAQ and got a wonderful reply from Dean Kjerland. This market initiative sounds truly incredible – here’s an excerpt from his email:

    “Market Fair believes in (and received funding based on) ‘local food infrastructure’ and entrepreneurship… so assuming there are 25-30 farmers in Northfield Farmers Market (7th St) and another 25-30 interested in Riverwalk Market Fair, we see this as 50-60 farmers, who in turn are part of a larger group of maybe 100 producers/growers in a 25 mile radius around Northfield. This represents a powerful basis of a local ‘food shed’ – and Market Fair hopes to contribute in a major way towards helping create a focus of market action and collaborations. So many folks aren’t eating local, healthy foods – the farmers, the Coop and even the food services at the colleges are doing great things, we believe there is much more to be done.”

    But for those of you more interested in arts than food, they’re collaborating with the ~150 or so local artists to create “a vibrant regional-destination art market”. And of course, the crux of the thing is to boost the entire local economy, from vendors at the market to local shops and hotels.

    They’ve been working on this concept for nearly two years – this is just the first we’ve been hearing about it.

    Very exciting!

    March 12, 2010
  4. John S. Thomas said:

    I look forward to this… Breakfast downtown, then some nice shopping!

    March 12, 2010
  5. Griff Wigley said:

    Gail, thanks for the update. I fixed the URL in your comment so that people can now just click:

    And Anne, thanks sooo much for contacting Dean and extracting information from him. 😉

    So it sounds like the current Farmer’s Market will continue on 7th St in Riverside Park where vendors can set up for free (Tuesdays and Fridays from 11:45 am to 1:00 pm and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 11:00 am).

    And for those food vendors who want to be closer to the center of downtown on Saturdays, they can buy a Market Fair booth/spot.

    Gail, how much will a booth/spot cost?

    March 14, 2010
  6. A.RIpka said:

    I have to admit, the lack of info on the Riverwalk Arts Quarter website is my fault! something i intend to rectify very soon. thank you Gail for posting the Market fair site. we just got that up but hope to have more info very soon. this is a very exciting adventure and long overdue in Northfield! just another step forward in making our city known as a unique and exciting destination. look for the Market Fair ad in May’s Twin Cities Edible and soon – Minnesota Monthly!

    March 17, 2010
  7. Jennifer said:

    Referring to Gail Jones Hansen’s comment: Can you please confirm the contact phone number? I tried 507-786-7900. The recording states that it is not a working number. Is there another number to call regarding being a potential vendor?

    April 2, 2010
  8. Griff Wigley said:

    Gail, the phone # you gave above in comment #1 “is not in service” as Jennifer just reported.

    April, can you put a Contact Us page on the site with the name of the person in charge, a phone #, and either a form or an email address?

    April 2, 2010
  9. A.Ripka said:

    griff – we are working on getting stuff up on the site. i believe the farmer’s market has something up in case anyone wanted to get an app for that. not sure what their website is. i know they sent out around 70 or so packets to artists they already had as contacts via the Riverwalk Arts Quarter artist survey. dean and i were both out with various illnesses last week when all this was getting set up so we’re a tad behind. should be caught up by the end of the week. in the meantime i can give you the correct phone #: 786-9700 and also an email for artists to inquire about getting an application:
    the general email for Market Fair is
    hope that helps.

    April 13, 2010
  10. Griff Wigley said:

    Thanks, April. I’ve fixed the phone number in Gail’s comment above.

    April 13, 2010
  11. A.Ripka said:

    UPDATE: Riverwalk Market Fair website has been updated to include Vendor Guidelines, the Artists Application and the Farmer’s Application for download. We’re still fine-tuning and what not, but at least the important stuff is up.

    April 14, 2010
  12. Griff Wigley said:

    Splendid, April!

    Will you be adding a blog so that you can:

    * keep updating it with news items and have the RSS feed aggregated by ?
    * get feedback and discuss issues with both vendors and the public?

    April 14, 2010
  13. A.Ripka said:

    it’s certainly a possibility – and a great idea – but first we need VOLUNTEERS!

    April 15, 2010