July 29 2015 12:00 AM

Lansing City Market debuts new summer events

The Lansing City Market’s revitalization plan is in full swing, with three events geared toward attracting new faces and refreshing the market’s image making their debut this month.

Jazz on the Grand will grace the market’s outdoor plaza on select Wednesdays this summer, featuring live jazz by Michigan musicians. Market vendors will stay open late on these nights, offering attendees a chance to grab a locally produced dinner or snack while they take in the show.

“There are headliners, and then there’s going to a local act preceding the headliners,” said local attorney Colin Maguire, a driving force behind the jazz series. “I think this is a great size to start at and just see where it goes.”

Jazz on the Grand kicks off at 6 tonight with a performance by Detroit-based vocalist Kimmie Horne. The Dewitt Junior High Jazz Band will open the show.

Maguire said he’s excited to bring live music to the banks of the Grand River.

“It’s very exciting,” he said. “There are other places you could do it, but I really felt that this was the spot — this is an area that can really shine. It’s really the premiere outdoor space on the waterfront right now. If we can have success at events like this, it’ll spur more development. I think there’s a lot of potential.”

On Mondays from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., downtown workers can find an extra reason to be excited for their lunch breaks with Get the Truck Out, a gathering of local food trucks on the market’s plaza. The move is planned to create lunch offerings on Mondays, when most of the market’s vendors are closed.

Offerings will vary weekly, although attendees can grab a bite from the popular Bivouac BBQ each Monday until the event’s end in October. Other Lansing favorites will also make appearances.

Those interested in foods of a leafier variety can check out the market plaza on Tuesdays. The market will host a weekly outdoor farmers market where patrons can find locally grown produce.

The offering is also a nod to the City Market’s roots, said Scott Keith, LEPFA president and CEO.

“You get that unique way of shopping where you’re talking to the person that’s producing it,” Keith told City Pulse earlier this summer. “You can’t get that at Kroger.”

The outdoor farmers market kicked off Tuesday and runs weekly noon to 8 p.m. through the summer. Indoor market vendors will extend their hours on Tuesdays to give a full market experience.

The three events were designed in reaction to a survey of residents and customers the market conducted in February, said Gus Pine, vice president of sales and marketing for LEPFA, the quasi-governmental organization that oversees the market.

“It’s not as much what we’re looking for as much as it is what the demand is asking for, what people are looking for,” Pine said in an interview with City Pulse earlier this summer.

The City Market’s transition to an urban market with greater riverfront utilization is evident in the three events, all of which take advantage of the market’s outdoor patio. According to Keith, these events are just the first of many changes in store to improve the market and its riverfront space.

“I think we are moving toward a successful urban market,” Keith said.

Jazz on the Grand

With Kimmie Horne and the Dewitt Junior High Jazz Band 6 p.m. Wednesday, July 29 FREE Lansing City Market 325 City Market Drive, Lansing (517) 483-7460 ext. 234, lansingcitymarket.com