New market brings more families to downtown Reno

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New market brings more families to downtown Reno

Rastro_photo

Emily Levine

If you happened to make it downtown on Sunday, you might have noticed more people out and about, especially near the ReTRAC plaza next to the Reno Arch. That's because it was the kickoff of a new weekly market called Rastro of Reno.

If you happened to make it downtown on Sunday, you might have noticed more people out and about, especially near the ReTRAC plaza next to the Reno Arch. That's because it was the kickoff of a new weekly market called Rastro of Reno.

On a beautiful spring day, the first thought for locals is generally not "let's go downtown," maybe to the Whitewater Park or the Riverwalk, but the ReTRAC plaza? Not so much. Rastro of Reno wants to the change that.

"Started out with about 35 vendors this weekend, turnout has been pretty good."

Mark Edington stands amid the hustle of the open air market. He and his colleague, Michael Schenk, are the founders of Rastro Reno. Stretching across the normally barren plaza all the way to Virginia Street are food trucks, and vendors selling t-shirts and crafts, as well as produce stands. To his left, are hula-hoop performers and activities for children.

"We really want to attract families downtown. I think there are a lot of families in Reno that avoid downtown because of the casinos, but we felt this would be an ideal situation near the river downtown; we have got a bounce house, a face painter..."

And it seemed to be working. I caught up with Steve Miller near the bounce house waiting for his daughter.

"Saw it on Facebook decided to come down and check it out. It's more kid friendly than the other farmer's markets, definitely. This bounce house and the face painting...she's happy. That's all that matters."

On the other side of the plaza, Sandra Akina minded her booth with colorful shirts and jewelry.

"This is the first time I've really done a show downtown in many many years. So I'm really testing the water, but nice crowd out today. I'm happy to see that. I think everyone is happy we have spring finally.

Akina says there are not many opportunities for crafters like herself in Reno at all.

"So I'm very hopeful for this, but this is their first time."

The event is named after the Rastro, a market in Madrid. The one in Reno is somewhere between a farmer's market and a craft fair. Back with Mark Edington, the co-founder of Rastro, he says it has a lot of potential to grow.

"We've gotten a lot of vendors who've walked up to us who aren't here and want to be here. So that's a good sign for us."

The market will be running every Sunday through September.