Winter Market in store at Montecito Ristorante

Downtown holiday events also coming soon

Dale and Jennifer Palkowski at Montecito Ristorante Lounge will be hosting a winter farmers market.

Dale and Jennifer Palkowski at Montecito Ristorante Lounge will be hosting a winter farmers market. Photo By Scott Ash

Nov. 6, 2012

As a new business owner, Jennifer Palkowski wants to find many new ways to bring more people to downtown Waukesha.

They've hosted many events and benefits at their restaurant, Montecito Ristorante Lounge, 257 W. Broadway.

And now, Palkowski and her husband, Dale, are welcoming the popular Farmers Market into their restaurant for the winter.

"It's just something that we decided to do to bring more foot traffic to downtown Waukesha," Palkowski said. "So we thought what better way than to do it in the winter."

The Winter Farmers Market begins Nov. 17 and will take place from 8 a.m. to noon every first and third Saturday through April.

Palkowski said this will lead into next year's regularly scheduled Farmers Market, which begins in May. This year's Farmers Market, located on Broadway to Barstow on the Riverfront Plaza, saw more than 100 vendors.

The downtown Waukesha Business Improvement District Board, currently inactive due to mass resignations, previously ran the Farmers Market.

Palkowski said while some vendors for the winter could set up in the restaurant's outdoor sidewalk café area depending on weather, they will mostly be inside in the dining room. She said there is enough room for 25 vendors.

She said some of the same vendors from the summer could be used during the winter and added that they could change from a week-to-week basis.

There will be many food vendors selling the likes of canned goods, cheeses, sausages, soups and jams, as well as craft items, Palkowski added.

A sign will be outside the restaurant to notify people of the new indoor market. Palkowski also said that her restaurant will also serve breakfast on those days.

Other holiday events

Speaking of winter, the Waukesha Downtown Business Association is hosting its usual Silver Bells events, highlighted by the Waukesha Christmas Parade. And this year, the parade reaches a milestone as it is in its 50th year.

Fittingly, the theme for the parade is 50 Years of Golden Christmas Memories. The parade is from 4 to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 18.

Before that, the Holiday Stroll is from noon to 4 p.m. that day. Downtown shops will offer store specials and have an open house.

Carolers will also fill the downtown streets.

A couple days earlier, the Christmas Tree Lighting will take place from 6 to 6:45 p.m. Nov. 16 at The Rotunda, 235 W. Broadway, in downtown Waukesha.

During the tree lighting, the Waukesha Choral Union will sing carols, Santa will make an appearance and a city official will lead the children in a countdown to the tree lighting. In addition to the tree lighting, the Salvation Army will kick off the bell ringing campaign as food and cash donations will be accepted.

Christmas Caroling is also a Silver Bells event.

Anyone is welcome to participate and groups of four to 10 people with at least one adult are encouraged. The caroling will begin Nov. 23 and they will sing from 5 to 8 p.m. Fridays, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturdays and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays.

If interested, contact The Steaming Cup owner Kerry MacKay at (262) 522-3605.

The final art crawl of the year will take place from 4 to 10 p.m. Dec. 1. Individuals can take the free trolley to art crawl events.

Also beginning on that day will be the Horse Drawn Carriage Rides. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for children or $12 for a family of three or more. The carriage rides run on weekends from Dec. 1 through Dec. 29.

A week later, the fourth annual 5K Santa Run/Walk for Charity will be held at 10:30 a.m. Dec. 9. The event supports The Salvation Army of Waukesha County.

The festive run/walk goes through downtown Waukesha and Frame Park.

The registration deadline is Dec. 5.


What: Winter Farmers Market

When: 8 a.m. to noon, first and third Saturdays through April starting Nov. 17

Where: Montecito Ristorante, 257 W. Broadway


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