We're on the brink of warmer weather which means here in Rockford, we're counting down the days until Rockford City Market returns! This year, there's a new way for small businesses to be a part of the fun. 

When someone new moves to Rockford in the winter, I always tell them... just wait, the minute we hit May, downtown explodes in fun.

Sure, someday, I'd love the downtown area to be popping with excitement throughout the year, but while we wait for that it's nice to know the fun Friday nights are on their way back.

Read more: Popular Pizza Place Serves Lucky Charms Martinis

Rockford City Market is one of the biggest parts of summer in the 815. Honestly, it's more than just summer. The market starts each May and we hold on to it as much as we can until September.

97 ZOK logo
Get our free mobile app

Since the beginning, vendors could apply to be a part of the market and plan to sell their items every Friday. But this year, there's a new concept for smaller businesses or local vendors who want to test it out before committing to the entire summer.

It's called the incubator tent. 

According to their website, you can apply for one Friday in the rotating booth as long as you are not a food vendor. This is also great if you forgot about applying for a season vendor spot, since the deadline for that was in February.

If you are a food vendor who's interested in a smaller option with City Market, you're in luck because they created a special one for you, too, it's called the '5-week food truck spot.'

And get this, if you are a farmer, you could get a free spot at the market this summer!

This makes me even more excited for the market to come back.

Rockford City Market starts on Friday, May 17.

LOOK: Recently opened restaurants in the Rockford area

Stacker compiled a list of hot and new restaurants in Rockford from Yelp.

Gallery Credit: Stacker

More From 97 ZOK