Gift Akron Bazaar

Visit the Akron Bazaar to Find the Rubber City's Best Artisans, Food and Retail Therapy 

A juried, handmade market, Akron Bazaar is focused on finding authetnic handmade goods of the highest quality and brining them to downtonw Akron.

By Molly Peterson

Located near downtown's core, you can find the new home of the Akron Bazaar. Just a block from Main Library and catty corner from the PNC building, at 159 S. Main St.

When you enter the historic looking building, you'll find a place filled with handmade gifts and loads of interesting makers. Akron Bazaar, the sister show to Cleveland Bazaar, hosts shows where you can meet crafters, weavers, welders, artists and entrepreneurs.

Akron Bazaar features vendors from the surrounding local communities, offering them a place to thrive. 

Shannon Okey, the founder of the Bazaar, has brought the success right to downtown Akron. 

“Everything is handmade. We get as many vendors from the Akron area as possible,” Okey said. “So, everything inside the market is unique, handmade and local.” 

The Akron Bazaar is juried, meaning a panel of handmade artists review entries and evaluate them for quality and to ensure that the products are indeed handmade. Those visiting can rest assured that they aren't purchasing big box items repackaged.

Okey is also the founder of the successful, “sister to the North,” Cleveland Bazaar. The Cleveland Bazaar is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year and Okey hopes to bring downtown Akron the same legacy. 

After its successful holiday market, Okey decided that Akron needed what Cleveland already had, a place for local artisans to show off their skills and give shoppers a place to support local businesses. 

“Downtown Akron Partnership and various arts organizations downtown are helping to expand and improve on what we started last year for the holiday,” Okey said. 

With the success of their show in 2023, Akron Bazaar located a permanent home at 159 South Main St., in Downtown. This former bank will be used for all their 2024 shows. With fun features such as a vault, this building is just as singular as the items found inside of it. 

Akron Bazaar is a one stop shop for visitors looking to find gifts, fashion, interior decor, art and more. It showcases the diverse talent of local artists and makers, providing them with a platform to share their creations. From handmade jewelry and ceramics to artwork and clothing, shoppers can expect a wide variety of creative items. 

“It is always nice to see what the local art scene is like. This show will give the city of Akron the chance to see 60+ local vendors in one spot,”  Okey said. “My favorite part is just seeing what people can come up with. Everybody is doing some unique and it is amazing. It’s not like going to mall and seeing the same thing in every mall.” 

In addition to shopping, the Akron Bazaar will feature live music, entertainment, and activities for all ages. With a fun atmosphere and a strong focus on community engagement, the event promises to be a highlight of the spring and summer seasons in Akron. 

Even better, admission to the Akron Bazaar is free and its markets are open to all ages. There will be events happening at their new location throughout the year. Each show will have the same features, but a special theme:

May 11 - Mother’s Day Market

June 28 - Summer Nights Market

July 20 - Summer in the City Market

August 3 - Buona Fiesta Market

August 24 - Pride Market 

September 6 - ArtWalk x City Fest

October 19 - This is Halloween Market

November 2- Coffee in an IV

November 29- Holiday Market

Their most recent show, the Eclipse Market on April 6, was a huge success. This show was the launch of their new location and showcasing the Akron Bazaar. Locals enjoyed visiting the show and shopping at the Akron Bazaar among the many events happening in Downtown. 

“This was my first time visiting the Akron Bazaar after many years of going to the Cleveland Bazaar. All I can say, wow,” Terry Shafer, a bazaar shopper, said. “It was a very cool location and there was so much stuff to look at.” 

Many people, just like Terry Shafer, walked around the Eclipse Market smiling and taking in the amazing artists and their work. Shafer, his wife, and their 12-year-old grandson loved it.

“Akron had so much to offer on April 6, and I am glad I didn’t miss the Akron Bazaar,” Shafer said. “I didn’t see a single person leave their empty handed. There was something there for every person, even my grandson enjoyed it.”

The Akron Bazaar invites the community to celebrate the special women in their lives on May 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.  at their first ever Mother’s Day Market. This event will host over 50 local vendors showcasing their gifts for mom including jewelry, artwork, clothing and much more. Grab your special mom a special gift or take her along and spend the day enjoying the market together. 

By supporting the Akron Bazaar, you are not only discovering unique treasures but also directly contributing to the growth and success of Akron's local businesses. The Bazaar offers these entrepreneurs an opportunity to reach wider audiences, build connections, and find a livelihood through their craft.

For more information, including a list of vendors, vendor features and a schedule of activities, please visit the Akron Bazaar website or visit the bazaar on instagram.

(Top) Mother's Day Market Flyer via Akron Bazaar. (Center) Photo from April 6 Total Eclipse of the Market via Akron Bazaar. Photos of the fault and staircase at 159 S. Main St. Photos via Akron Bazaar. (Bottom) Jewelry designed by Narf Designs that will be available at the Mother's Day Market. Photo by Narf Designs.

To reach content author Molly Peterson,  email her here.


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