GRIFFITH | A park already known for its many fine arts and craft fairs is adding food to its long schedule of events.
The Griffith Central Market will make its debut May 3 and have return engagements from 3 to 8 p.m. every Friday through September in Central Park, said Kathy Ruesken, project organizer.
"I'm trying to create something unique out of something that's very ubiquitous," she said.
In doing so, Ruesken said she is targeting different vendors from those that appear in other local communities.
Similar to a food court, the booths will feature prepared foods such as Mexican, Serbian and Italian food, Vienna hot dogs and various breads — all ready to eat, Ruesken said.
Also on the menu will be beer and wine sales, coffee and tea.
"You can go sit in the (park) pavilion and have your dinner while listening to live music," Ruesken said, adding that "I'd like to make it a destination (event)."
Other vendors will offer handmade soaps and lotions, honey, maple syrup and other packaged food items.
Others will sell handcrafted specialties such as candles, textiles, outdoor landscape art and kids' toys.
Ruesken said she would like to sign up a farmer who would sell produce.
The park already hosts the popular Park Full of Art, a Northwest Indiana Symphony concert, performances by local musicians and a Griffith Boy Scouts craft fair.
"The market is like a confluence where it all comes together," Ruesken said. "It will celebrate everything that Griffith is."
Some of the vendors already on board include Rolling Stonebaker Inc. of Beverly Shores, Grindhouse Café of Griffith, Flagel Sugar House from Michigan, Simplify of Hebron and Simply Salsa of Homer Glen, Ill.
Also included is a dog treat company called Black Pearl Bakery of Dyer, Scoville Brothers of Kouts, Ay Chihuahua's of Highland, Capricorn Foods of Hammond and Tiffany's Tea Room of Crown Point.
"They're just homegrown people" who mostly sell online or at markets, said Ruesken, who also sits on the Imagine Griffith Committee.
She noted that the Market plans to have 20 to 30 vendors each week.
Vendors wishing to enlist can call Ruesken at (219) 484-6697 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.