Market on Central continues to thrive

Downtown Fort Dodge is on the rebound. During the last several years, storefronts up and down Central Avenue and on nearby streets that have too long been vacant are once again coming to life commercially. The city’s historic business district is becoming the home to an impressive array of new businesses. Many of these enterprises are exactly the type of family-owned and operated ventures that have long been a driving force in our nation’s economy.

In 2011, Market on Central was launched. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month during summer, it transformed the heart of the city into a bustling village of vendors, artisans, entertainers – and more. Each year this festival has become stronger.

The excellence of this undertaking is beginning to be recognized far beyond Webster County. The website The Daily Meal has just named Market on Central one of the 101 best farmers markets in the United States. This is the second consecutive year the local market has made this prestigious ranking.

The Messenger congratulates the organizers, sponsors and vendors whose efforts have helped achieve this important national recognition for a Fort Dodge event. The Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance deserves special praise for its strong support.

Market on Central offers exciting shopping, but it has an additional very serious purpose. It is helping to jump-start the small business component of the local economy. Market on Central helps introduce shoppers to the potential of Central Avenue and nearby streets. It gives an eclectic assortment of vendors an opportunity to connect with folks who may find their wares impossible to resist. The owners of many of the small businesses featured each summer have seen their participation lead to increased sales over the following months once shoppers learned what they had to offer.

The word is spreading far beyond north central Iowa that Market on Central is the place to be each summer.