One of the benefits of living in the same town where I grew up is seeing it evolve. Not everything attempted works, and there are certain areas of town where turnover is inevitable, but when something tried becomes a mainstay–a real success–it makes me happy to still be living here.
Main Street Market Place is one of these experiments that has become a winner. Held on Thursday nights during July and August, Main Street Market Place seeks to bring people back downtown–much like they used to do when pay day was Thursday and shops were closed on Sundays. A collection of craftspeople, food vendors, farmers, local businesses, and musicians fill the street, tempting you in every way imaginable. Too much stimulation? There are even chair massages to calm you down. There’s something for everybody–all you need to do is look.
The food is always the best part of a festival, and Main Street Market Place does this right. I made a quick list (off the top of my head) and found a wide variety of options to tickle your taste buds: Teriyaki Boy, Kurt’s Mucke’s hot dogs, Hardcore Sweet Cupcakes, Zach and Lou’s Barbecue, Del’s Frozen Lemonade, Annie Bananie (ice cream), Vientiane Thai Cuisine, Better Baking by Beth, Addeo’s All Natural Italian Ice, Brian’s Fabulous Fried Dough,… The list goes on and on! Locals S&S Sweet Treats, Yankee Yogurt, Backstage EDL, Bogey’s Restaurant and Pub, and Ritz Crystal Room at Remember When added to the feast, leaving you with little reason to walk away hungry!
This time, I chatted briefly with Emily Brooks, Design and Operations Manager for Giv Coffee, a local coffee roasting company. She handed me a sample of iced coffee and we discussed her passion. I had no idea there were coffee roasters in the area, but Emily and Jeff do it from their home here in Torrington. Giv Coffee is not only local, but charitable, too. $2 from every bag sold is donated to help those in need. You’ll find them at the market place all summer, as well as at the Farmers’ Market on Saturdays.
The highlight for the evening is the fire show. A collaboration by Ravenbane’s FireCraft and Torrington CT Area Fire Performers, the fire show has always been a huge draw at the Market Place. It starts at 8 PM in the parking lot next to City Hall and lasts for one hour. Artists perform to a variety of music, wowing the crowd with their death-defying (alright, burn-defying) acts. It’s definitely the hottest act you’ll find in town!
At 9 PM, the festivities end. Vendors pack up their wares for the next street fair, garbages overflowing with the remains of an awesome evening. Children scatter, yawning from the effort of staying awake so late. The party continues at Backstage EDL with live music, if you so desire. Another Market Place is done. Thankfully, it will return next week.