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Madison Square Market Could Be Reborn as Spring Food Festival

By DNAinfo Staff on April 4, 2011 4:54pm

The annual Madison Square Market has earned mixed reviews from community members.
The annual Madison Square Market has earned mixed reviews from community members.
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By Jill Colvin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MIDTOWN — The Madison Square Park Conservancy will present a new vision for its popular "Mad. Sq. Mark't" Monday evening that focuses more on food and less on crafts after members of Community Board 5 tried to shut the annual festival down.

Under the preliminary plan, a new Madison Sq. Food/Dining Festival would run for 29 days from May 6 through June 3, according to Mike Rucker, the conservancy's communications director. The "Mad. Sq. Mark't" has traditionally been held in the fall.

"We were trying to think about how we would move forward," Rucker said. "The food portion of the market was very successful," he said.

In January, the board's Parks Committee voted unanimously against the conservancy's third annual event, which had been scheduled to take place in and around the Flatiron District's Madison Square Park from Sept. 24 through Oct. 22.

While the market has been a big hit with foodies thanks to its offerings from eateries including Resto, Almond, Ilili and Fatty 'Cue, members of the board's Parks Committee complained it blocked local residents' access to sidewalks, lasted much too long, and looked like a run-of-the-mill street fair.

The conservancy asked the board to delay its final vote to give it time to revise its plans to address the board's concerns.

The conservancy will present its new plans at the committee's monthly meeting tonight at 6 p.m. at the Bryant Park Corp./34th Street Partnership at 1065 Sixth Ave., Suite 2400.