Vintage Wave Of The Future

Saturday’s Vintage Market at the Sunbeam Building shows that in order to reignite business and community – we must get a little creative.

The pop-up market displayed the wide range of products and people that are emerging here in the Peoria area. First off, what is a pop-up?, and why do I keep hearing so much about them these days?

Pop-ups have been seen, you guessed it… “popping up” all over the country.  They’re one part planned, topped off with a splash of spontaneity. You can see a business hocking their creative wares, artists showcasing their work, musicians playing a free show, and citizen chefs dishing out some delights.

As a company town, we forget how many unique and ambitious people make up everything around us. We refer to ourselves as a “blue-collar” city, and most aren’t afraid to get their hands dirty and create something. But are we able to open our minds up to accept the result of all that creativity?

In his 2002 book, “Rise of the Creative Class,” author Richard Florida describes how these creative types are the lifeblood to re-emerging cities. They are the first ones to take action, take risk, and are willing to step forward to carry their city into the next chapter of its history.

For far too long we have accepted things as they are and we have limited ourselves from being a truly creative community by putting obstacles and hurdles in our way. However, for the Prairie Traveling Vintage Show, the show must go on.

It may take some re-imagining, and that’s what people who think outside-of-the-box do best. In the process, there are unused spaces that get filled and connections in community that would otherwise go unknown.

At this point it’s important to note that the art and culture scene here (heavily creative types), have been working somewhat quietly and unnoticed until recently. There have been studies like the one conducted by ArtPartners (STUDY) that show that it’s not just the traditional entertainment value they provide, but the financial impact to the city as a whole. Now there is even more evidence that it goes beyond direct sales and revenue. It has started to be a catalyst for neighborhood and community redevelopment.

The Vintage Market not only put on a good time, but the supporting cast put on a great demonstration to the city and residents of Peoria that those willing to create something unique are giving back more than what they might think.

Saturday was a spotlight of all of the products and results of time spent creating, but it also showed the re-creation of space and the rejuvenation of a place that only 2 years ago didn’t look or function as good as it does today.

This stretch off of Main Street (MAP) has seen a positive turn and looks to have a promising future ahead of it. Much of this is a testament to the creativity of many small businesses, sole proprietors, and property owners dedicated to showing off the fruits of their labor.


You can follow the Prairie Traveling Vintage Show on Facebook.

To find out what’s happening at the Sunbeam Building, head over to these businesses who have popped up and stayed:


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