NewBo Fest Draws Crowds in Booming Neighborhood
By Jillian Petrus, Reporter
CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa - Vendors say this year's NewBo Festival drew crowds interested in the rapidly growing city district. Merchants said they did well in sales. Several attributed some of the success to a renewed curiosity in the neighborhood.
Local Cedar Rapids artist Deda Happel has an eye for the unique. She says NewBo is the right move for the creative business owner looking to grow.
"I really want to try and get involved in downtown," Happel said. "Maybe have a shop down here some day. So, I'm very happy they're starting to rebuild it, and I'm excited for the market too."
The Newbo City Market is poised to be an anchor for this neighborhood and the Czech Village area both regaining strength since the 2008 flood.
"I think it's full of promise," said Marion resident, Kim Ketelsen. "I think it's been a long time coming, and I hope it delivers. I think it will."
The indoor year-round fresh market with 21 vendors opens this fall. The excitement surrounding this new piece of Newbo is peaking interest in the rapidly changing area.
"There area few [buildings] that probably need to be revitalized or tore down," said Don Gray. Gray, mayor of Central City, and his wife shared a vendors tent at NewBo Fest. "The buildings that have been redone people are impressed with the way they look."
The eclectic cultural mix that defines Newbo is also what's keeping it alive. From food to art and music, the growth has some people reconsidering this once desolate part of town.
"I've contemplated moving to one of the condos down here at one point," Ketelsen said. "It's nice to know things are happening. It seems like they're starting to happen so who knows!? Maybe there's time for me yet."
PERMANENT VENDORS AT NEWBO CITY MARKET GRAND OPENING OCTOBER 27TH:
Bark & Bloom Flowers
Betty & Bobo’s Better Breads
Cakes by Christopher
The Chill Ice Cream
The Iowa Soul Food Company
Jojo’s Asian Cuisine
Morgan Creek Produce
La Reyna Taqueria & Bodega
Smuggler’s Fresh Fish
Smokin’ Bonz BBQ
That One Cupcake Place
Wright Touch Bakeshop
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