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New market draws inspiration and flavor from around the world

Dixon City Market is held each Wednesday

DIXON – For its fourth week, the Dixon City Market will offer tastes of Chile, Argentina and Kansas City, Missouri. 

In addition to food and live music, the City Market, held 4 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays at the Dixon riverfront, has had wine and beer tastings. The tastings represent a different region each week, with previous tastings of wine from Italy, Spain and Portugal, and Australia and New Zealand.

Beer tastings have included beer from Capital Brewery in Wisconsin, Brooklyn Brewery in New York, Bent River Brewing Company in Rock Island, and Galena Brewing Company in Galena. 

This week, the wine will be from South America – specifically Chile and Argentina –and the beer will be from Boulevard Brewery in Kansas City.

Giana Bonneur, Main Street’s events and marketing coordinator, said the market tries to bring some exclusivity to the tastings.

“The point is not to be marketing a specific brand,” she said. “The point is to bring in something that you normally wouldn’t see.”

Future wine tastings could draw from France and Oregon.

But not all of the market is aimed at bringing in items from other countries or regions of the United States. Bonneur described the market’s 17 vendors as “premier vendors” from the area whose products people won’t see in a grocery store.

The list of vendors includes the Ginkgo Tree Cafe in Dixon, Rawshu’a in Rock Falls, Sterling Gardens and The World’s Sausage Cafe in Dixon.

The inspiration for the market came from large city markets in places like Chicago.

“It’s never going to be like that,” Bonneur said. “But it is a town of 16,000 with a growing, bustling area, and the market should reflect that.”

For several weeks, the Dixon Farmers Market was also held at Heritage Square on the riverfront, but it’s since moved back to Haymarket Square.

Venetian night

When Giana Bonneur was hired as Dixon Main Street's events and marketing coordinator in April, one of the first things she said she wanted to bring to the city was a Venetian Night.

That will happen on Saturday, Aug. 23.

Similar to Chicago's Venetian Night, which has been around for more than 50 years, the event in Dixon will include music, food and a lighted boat parade.

There will be a mask-making workshop for children and a "European square atmosphere," Bonneur said, with musicians, street performers, art, Italian food, wine and gelato on the riverfront.

Reserved spots to watch the boat parade cost $10 or $25.

Email riverfrontdixon@gmail or call 815-288-2308 for more information.

The vendors

The Dixon City Market is held at Heritage Square at the riverfront from 4 to 7 p.m. each Wednesday through September.

The list of vendors includes:

• Sterling Gardens: local, seasonal produce, including kale, heirloom tomatoes, chard, spinach, organic melons, organic sweet potatoes, and other specialty items

• Windsweep Farms: pastured meat and eggs

• Nomia Meadows Farm: local honey, apples, sunflowers, natural lotion and sugar scrubs

• The Good Food Gallery: breads, scones, European pastries, focaccia, cakes, and cookies

• Finders Keepers: herbs, teas, lotions, salves, and foraged items

• The Ginkgo Tree Cafe: assorted iced teas, locally roasted organic coffee, and fresh pizzas to-go

• The World's Sausage Cafe: grilled gourmet sausages, including the signature apple-onion

• The Cheese Market: specialty cheeses

• Distinctive Gardens: annuals, perennials, herbs

• Rawshu’a: raw and living foods and juices

• Bare Body Bar: natural soaps, lip balm, insect repellent, moisturizer, and oil

• Mark's Best Tamales: hand-rolled tamales

• Earth's Natural Herbal Teas: hand-crafted teas, and fresh produce

• Vicki McConnell: mushrooms, red raspberries, and Grist Mill ground corn

• Roxie's Boutique: craft sodas

• Humphrey's farm: sweet corn and eggs

• Marty's Kitchen: jams, jellies, and fruit butters

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