May 29, 2023

Open Air Market and Music Festival June 10 in downtown Monroe

About 50 new vendors and a cornhole tournament will debut at this year's Open Air Market and Music Festival, set for 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. June 10 in downtown Monroe. Some attractions will end before 10 p.m.

The annual market and music festival is offered by the Downtown Monroe Business Network.

"Over 100 vendors have registered," Paula Stanifer, event coordinator for the DMBN, said. "We have about 50 new vendors. We also have artists, music all day, car show, kids area, character meet-and-greets and a beer tent."

Vendor booths and sidewalk sales will run from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on East Front and East First streets, from Macomb to Monroe streets, and on Washington Street, from Second to Front streets. Vendors also will be set up on West Front Street, West First Street and Monroe Street.

Vendors will sell items such as squirrel feeders, gift baskets, honey, succulents, seasonings and rubs, crystal and mineral bracelets, semiprecious stone bracelets, keychains, dreamcatchers, ceramics, T-shirts and artwork, including paintings, ceramics, jewelry, wood burnings and photographs on canvas.

In addition to the specialty vendors, several downtown Monroe businesses will participate by offering extended hours or holding sidewalk sales from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. They include: Amaya's Fresh Mexican Grill, Cravings Sports Cards & Collectibles, Jones For Men, Salon 23, Brown Bag Boutique, Front Street Mercantile, Williams Insurance Agency, Two French Hens, ASA Publishing, Floral City Images, Martin's Shoe House, Barn Owl, The Thrift Shop, Misty's Plant Based Foods, Farmers Insurance Agency, Elegant Styles by E, Cakes By Stephanie, Mindful Movement and Frenchie's Fine Jewelry, Coins and Stamps.

The Sawyer Homestead, 320 E. First St., will hold an indoor and outdoor Attic Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Available will be small appliances, books, antiques, household items, baby items and some furniture. "Friends can come and rent a space to sell items also," Rosalie Pasko, Sawyer Homestead president, said.

A cornhole tournament was added to the Open Air Market and Music Festival this year.

"We try and add a new feature each year to broaden our offerings," Stanifer said.

Walk-up registration will begin at 11 a.m. on event day. The cost is $50 a team. The tournament will have a four-game seeding to a two-division double-elimination format. Payouts will be made to the top three in each division. Players of all skill levels are welcome.

Debuting at last year's Open Air Market was a beer tent, which is returning this year.

"The beer tent was new last year, and we hope it will be bigger and better this year," Stanifer said.

Also returning is the popular car show on Washington Street. It will run from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and is offered by the Monroe Michigan Goodtime Cruisers.

"(The number of cars) depends on the weather. If it's a nice day, there could be over 75 cars," Stanifer said.

Also near Washington Street will be a free children's area, open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

"We have singing characters for the kids, along with games and other activities and a bounce house," Stanifer said.

Four costumed characters will interact with attendees. From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., kids can see Ariel and Prince Eric from "The Little Mermaid." Scheduled from 1:15 to 3:15 p.m. are Jasmine from "Aladdin" and Captain America.

Some area artists will have displays in the artist area near the children's zone. Other artists will be scattered among the vendors.

Live music will be played from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. in Loranger Square. Six area groups will perform.

Four food trucks will be parked downtown. Other trucks will sell ice cream, coffee and lemonade shake-ups.

The Book Nook, which has closed, will sell its remaining books at its former location, 42 S. Monroe St.

"There's over 4,500 books left. We will be selling (most) for $2-5 each," Janet Berns, owner, said.

A few downtown Monroe streets will be closed to traffic, starting at 8 a.m. June 10. They are: East Front and East First streets, from Macomb to Monroe streets, and Washington Street, from Second to Front streets. The parking lot at the corner of West First and Monroe streets also will be closed to traffic.

The Open Air Market began in 2013. Last year was the first full event since the pandemic began. It is attended by several thousand people each year, Stanifer said.

"Vendors love this affordable opportunity to showcase their items at our market," she said. "The community loves this retro event as a nod to the Floral City Festival of the 1980s and '90s. There is something for everyone."

For more information, visit "Downtown Monroe Michigan Business Network" on Facebook.

Music schedule:

11 a.m.-noon: Frenchtown Fiddlers in the Loranger Square Pavilion

Noon-1:30 p.m.: Conga Man on the Loranger Square Stage

1:30-3:30 p.m.: Minimum Wage Band in the Loranger Square Pavilion

3:30-4 p.m.: Monroe Puente on the Loranger Square Stage

4-6 p.m.: Celestial Blues in the Loranger Square Pavilion

6-10 p.m.: Sweet Tea Band on the Loranger Square Stage