Deer District to launch weekly night market series later this month

30 businesses to sell fresh, locally produced food and beverages

Morning Glory Art Fair was held outside Fiserv Forum for the first year in 2019. Photo credit: Milwaukee Bucks/ Deer District

Massive watch parties that have taken over Deer District‘s public plaza during the Milwaukee Bucks’ historic NBA Playoff run will soon give way to other summertime events, including a new weekly night market featuring about 30 local food and beverage vendors.

Deer District Market‘ is set for Wednesday evenings throughout the rest of the Summer starting July 28, followed by Aug. 4,11, 25 and Sept. 1,8,15 and 25 (Saturday), the Bucks announced Tuesday. The new event won’t conflict with the 2021 Milwaukee Night Market, which will take place Wednesday, Aug. 18. on West Wisconsin Avenue between 2nd Street and Vel R. Phillips Avenue.

Milwaukee-area business that will sell products at Deer District Market include Pete’s Pops, Stephan’s Artisanal Breads, Vegan Soul, Lush Poporn, Hatched pie bakery, Scales Family Farm, A&M Organics, Silver Moon Springs Trout & Fish Hatchery, and Vennture Brew Co., organizers told BizTimes Milwaukee.

Behind the new night market series is Arthur Ircink, creator of the Emmy-Award winning PBS television series ‘Wisconsin Foodie.’ Ircink has worked as a filmmaker and entrepreneur in the Milwaukee area for the past 15 years and is the publisher of local food magazine, ‘Edible Milwaukee.’ As one of the founders of the popular Shorewood Farmers Market in Estabrook Park, his interests lie in “promoting a local food economy.”

“I’m honored to bring my experience and connections to Deer District to create something new and exciting, building off of all the recent momentum in the district while supporting small business,” he said.

Organizers are currently in talks with the Bucks’ food and beverage provider, Levy Restaurants, to allow food trucks and prepared food vendors, including Immy’s African Cuisine, Pedro’s South American Food and Meat on the Street. Most of the vendor mix will be consistent from week to week, but the plan is to rotate non-food vendors and potentially prepared food vendors, said Ircink.

Limited availability remains for vendors that would like to sign up for Deer District Market. Interested parties should contact Ircink at arthur.ircink@gmail.com.

Presented by the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Health Network, Deer District Market aims to support minority-owned businesses, supply the community with healthy, locally-produced food, and support and develop small food businesses, according to a news release.

“We’re pleased to partner with Deer District and the Milwaukee Bucks to bring this fun, new event to downtown in a way that promotes healthy eating and support for local food business,” said David Olson, senior vice president and chief strategy officer at Froedtert & MCW.

Deer District Market will bring healthy nutritious options within walking distance to more of our community and promote a healthier lifestyle by offering nutritious food choices and education.”

“We are excited to partner with both Arthur Ircink and the Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin health network as we continue our mission to bring unique experiences to Deer District that support and engage our community,” Starr Butler, vice president of booking and events for Fiserv Forum and Deer District.

In addition to ongoing Bucks Playoff Watch Parties – drawing as many a 25,000 people a night – Deer District currently offers free fitness classes on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday evenings when the Bucks aren’t playing. Fitness in the Plaza runs through September 2. Other upcoming events include the Morning Glory Art Fair on Aug. 14 and 15 and The Bloody Mary Festival on Aug. 21.

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Maredithe Meyer covers restaurants, retail, tourism, and sports and entertainment. She joined BizTimes in 2015, previously as an intern reporter. She earned a degree in journalism from Marquette University in 2017. When she's not on the job, Maredithe coaches field hockey and loves exploring her favorite city on earth, Milwaukee.

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