Mini Market Thursdays return to Rochester Lions Park

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published June 15, 2016

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ROCHESTER — Thursdays in June are once again bustling in downtown Rochester.

The Rochester Downtown Development Authority is hosting its second annual Mini Market Thursdays event, giving the public another chance to support local farmers, crafters and businesses this summer.

DDA Events Coordinator Stephanie Hellebuyck said the event was created last year in an effort to raise awareness about Lions Park and also to draw more people downtown during the parking platform construction.

“We wanted to have something in town that was a little off of the beaten path, and to really bring awareness to the trails and all the other outdoor activities that you can do in downtown Rochester,” she said. “We encourage people to ride their bikes downtown to the event, and our hope is that they will come down, come to the park, come to the Mini Market, meet some of our downtown businesses and then hopefully travel to Main Street.”

The market, which kicked off June 2 and continues every Thursday through June 30, features approximately 25 vendors offering fresh Michigan produce and flowers, local crafts and gifts, and specialty foods.

“The 25 vendors are a combination of some of our downtown businesses, some of our farmers market vendors, and then just local handmade crafters,” Hellebuyck said.

Carlos and Liz Aprea, who own Moon River Soap Co., will be selling their all-natural soaps, bug sprays, lip balms and the other products they make at their downtown shop, 339 East St., during the event.

“It’s just a really nice event in a beautiful setting,” Carlos Aprea said. “It’s really fun to get out there and talk to everybody.”

Mini Market Thursdays run 4-7 p.m. in Rochester Lions Park, located behind the Rochester Mills Beer Co., on the west side of the Paint Creek, across from the Royal Park Hotel. The park sits on the Paint Creek Trail and is steps away from a creek access point, so biking to the event is encouraged.

There will be free live entertainment and food available for purchase for people of all ages, making the market an opportunity for families to enjoy a night out of the house. Families can enjoy live music, kids activities, visits from Upland Hills Farm animals and Oakland County Parks and Recreation Go! Adventures, all while enjoying a dinner of burgers, brats and hot dogs for sale from Rochester Mills. The Royal Park Hotel will be on hand some weeks featuring dishes from its Park 600 Bar + Kitchen. For more information, call the Rochester DDA at (248) 656-0060.