Hops & Shops August Market

Event will promote small area businesses

Submitted photo
A former market held on the patio of River Hops Brewing in downtown Fort Dodge.

Several months ago, Katie Bills noticed many people she knew were often leaving Fort Dodge for shopping or to attend small business markets in larger cities. She knew Fort Dodge had the vendors; they just needed a place to showcase their talents.

“There’s so many small businesses that have so much to offer our community and they just need an outlet, they need somewhere to sell their stuff or to show their stuff,” Bills said. ”I just want to give those people the opportunity to grow their businesses, and then offer something for the people in our community to do. “

That is why she organized the Hops & Shops August Market to be held from 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday at River Hops Brewing, 1014 Central Ave.

Vendors currently scheduled are Wilted Daisy Boutique, Rose Violet Co., Everything Eger, Artsy Mama & Black Hills Creations, Scentsy, This N That Depot, A and C Custom Creations, Wild Mist Soap Company, Gypsy Way Creations, Stripling Honey, Lynch Family Farms, It’s What We Do Creations and Celly’s CU at the Curb. River Hops Brewing will be serving their usual selections as well.

Bills said she’s passionate about her town.

She said, “I love Fort Dodge, I love our community and I love to see our community grow and have positive things happening so I feel kind of sad when I hear people say, ‘It’s Saturday, and we’re going to go to Des Moines to go to the market’ or ‘We’re going to go to Des Moines to go shopping’ or anywhere else. I hate seeing businesses and people leave our community.”

Bills hopes that events like this will help the community see what she sees in Fort Dodge.

“I want people to feel like they’re doing something really fun and exciting, but they didn’t have to drive an hour and a half, and then spend money on things and give to another community when we have the same opportunities here,” she said.

Fort Dodge previously had the Market on Central hosted by the Greater Fort Dodge Growth Alliance, but due to COVID-19, the alliance made the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 season and there have been no announcements yet on the future of the Market on Central. Since then, Bills has organized several markets that were successful.

“I’m not necessarily saying that I would like this to take the place of the Market on Central,”Bills said.”I would love to see the Market on Central come back and be bigger, better, successful, anything that helps our community. But in the meantime, I hope that my market is giving people something to do and a reason to hang out in Fort Dodge.”

Bills assures the market is a family friendly event despite being held at a brewery.

“River Hops will have root beer on tap,” she said.” So if you’re leaving work, and you want to come down with your coworkers, or if you want to bring your kids, just get together and see people, enjoy being outside, eating good food, and get some cool stuff that maybe you didn’t even know was offered in our area.”

For more information and to see future events, visit The Craft House 515 on Facebook.


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