The Indianapolis City Market has been around about just as long as Indy has been a city; as a planned city, a public market space was always part of the design. However, City Market had humble beginnings as an open air market, covered by a simple roof, where local farmers could gather to sell their wares. The Historic Market House we know and love today didn’t come around for some 40 years! The Market House was completed in 1886, and at the time included more market space stretching east toward Alabama Street, and the massive Tomlinson Hall to the west along Delaware Street.
Tomlinson Hall was one of the original convention center style buildings; it saw presidential speeches, massive concerts, some of the first basketball games, and large gatherings such as the National Prohibition Convention of 1892 (times sure have changed)! The final show held in Tomlinson Hall, before it burned down in January 1958, took place just over 60 years ago. “The Fantabulous Rock N Roll Show of ‘57” showcased some 50 performers including Ray Charles and Bo Diddley. It is in honor of that show that City Market’s annual gala fundraiser, MRKT BALL, is themed after rock ‘n roll of the 1950’s this year!
MRKT BALL is our current form of the old To Market To Market Ball, an event conceived decades past with the mission of saving the City Market from new “development” in downtown. Thanks to then-Mayor Richard Lugar and a dedicated community, City Market was saved and is now historically protected. Now, 131 years after the construction of the Historic Market House, our MRKT BALL party continues to serve as City Market’s primary fundraiser supporting building maintenance, operations, programming, and some creative placemaking projects.
Our mission for 2018 is to expand upon and create projects that help make City Market a public place for human interaction, connection, recreation, and yes – eating! You can help make these projects a reality by rocking out with us at MRKT BALL! Come enjoy live music from local group Chamber Music as they perform 1950’s hits from big names such as Little Richard, Ray Charles, Jackie Wilson, Little Willie John, Sam & Dave, and Staple Singers! You’ll be able to enjoy drinks from Tomlinson Tap Room, free samples from a variety of City Market merchants (on top of special menus!), a photo booth, and other awesome activities.
Read more about MRKT BALL 2017, and find ticket information here.