Dells Riverfront Terrace to hold summer night markets

March 19, 2019

Downtown Wisconsin Dells will take on new life at night this summer with the introduction of night markets at the Riverfront Terrace. The markets will feature vendors from around the state selling a variety of wares in addition to the Terrace’s menu of food and beverages, and patrons can enjoy live music during each of the markets.

Riverfront Terrace is hosting the markets at 6 p.m. June 19, July 17, and Aug. 14, with another market in the fall if the initial offerings prove successful.

“Our philosophy is to improve downtown,” Kyler Royston of Riverfront Terrace said. “That space is so beautiful and so important as you cross the bridge, (and) we want to bring some life to it.”

The City of Wisconsin Dells Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit application for the markets at a meeting March 11. Among the conditions passed by the commission is a requirement that the Riverfront Terrace hold no more than four markets the first year, and a requirement that all vendors at the market are state-registered to collect the 1.25 percent Premier Resort Tax.

“I am not opposed to the markets, but I want to protect the other brick and mortar businesses downtown,” Alderman Mike Freel said.

The permit is valid for one year, with Freel stating that the Riverfront Terrace needs to apply again next year if they wish to continue hosting the markets. Re-applying next year will allow the commission to evaluate the financial and foot traffic impact of the markets.

The Lower 5th is set to perform during the market on June 19. Blending soul and folk music, the Madison-based band recently released their first studio album, Hope, and have toured with national acts like Boyd Tinsley of the Dave Matthews Band, Gangsta Grass, and The Railsplitters. Singer/songwriter Mark Croft provides music for the July 27 market, while Americana band Old Soul Society performs at the Aug. 14 market.

Royston said that some vendors at the market will sell local art and produce, but applications are also open for out of area vendors. Initial plans for the markets project between 15 and 18 vendors at each market. The Riverfront Terrace plans to sell craft food and drinks during the markets. Vendor applications are available now on the Riverfront Terrace Facebook page.

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