WACO, TX — The Eastside Market is meant to bring the community together, but the coronavirus pandemic has made it difficult for several months.
On Sunday, November 15th, the event is expected to be the biggest yet since COVID-19 began.
"If you have never really experienced the Eastside Market, it's a really cool place, and I invite everyone to come out here," said co-founder Eric Linares.
Before COVID-19, Brotherwell Brewery would fill up with hundreds of people who were there for more than just a beer.
They attended the Eastside Market.
"It revolves around music, art, vendors, and this communal spirit of coming out and enjoying and having a good time together."
The market kicked off in August of 2019 until March when everything mostly shut down.
"When COVID hit, it was actually pretty crazy because we were on the verge of having one of our biggest events of all time," said Linares.
Fast track to August of 2020, they decided to host smaller outdoor events, and now they are taking it a step further.
"We are going to have over 40 vendors, food trucks, live music performances, the graffiti wall will have 6 to 7 artists out there."
Linares says events like the Eastside Market are essential for a community to bond and thrive. Jo Eriom and Victoria Bingaman are young entrepreneurs and hope to network with the community.
"Being a small business, especially during this time when you need to gain exposure, it's hard during the pandemic," said Victoria Bingaman. "So when we came out to the last event, it was awesome because we connected with the community of Waco."
Linares hopes more vendors will feel the same way.
"We really just want everyone to grow and basically enjoy Waco," said Linares.
Linares says they are continuing to take safety measures. Everyone must wear a mask and follow the proper guidelines while still enjoying their Sunday evening at the Eastside Market.
Co-owner of Brotherwell Brewery, David Stoneking, says the pandemic had caused many ups and downs for their business. For them, having an outside space has allowed more opportunities for events like the Eastside Market to continue happening.
"The general public who is coming out and supporting local vendors, that is what Eastside Market has always been about and its created strength by far. We are lucky to have a big outdoor space where we get to play hosts, and in this COVID time, we are lucky to have an outdoor space that makes people feel safer to gather," said Stoneking.
He says they are continuing to take safety precautions with masks and social distancing.
The Eastside Market happens every third Sunday of the month at Brotherwell Brewery from noon to 5 p.m.