The opening day of the Downtown Penticton Community Market is May 12. Photo courtesy of Downtown Penticton

Penticton community market gearing up for opening day

The Community Market, sponsored by the Downtown Business Association, opens on May 12

By Brennan Phillips

Special to the Western News

The Community Market, sponsored by the Downtown Business Association, will celebrate its 10th anniversary when it opens on May 12.

“We’re getting all the details put together now, and it looks great,” said Lynn Allin, the executive director of the Downtown Penticton Association. “We’re very excited, it will be a great market this year.”

Both the community and farmers’ markets dominate Main Street and draw substantial traffic, not just from Penticton, but from the surrounding area.

“We bring about 5,000 people to the downtown core every Saturday,” Allin said. “For 22 Saturdays there’s a lot of foot traffic, which is great for local businesses.”

The Community Market features vendors running from Westminster Avenue to Nanaimo Avenue to start the season.

“We have local artists, our local galleries downtown have stands, lots of local crafts too,” said Jackey Zellweger, the market and social events manager for the Downtown Penticton Association. “Baking, honey, canning, candles, woodwork, and the local businesses. Artisans, produce, apparel, specialty foods, eateries, and food trucks. We’ll have all of that and more.”

The markets won’t just be vendors either. There are plans to bring in a local petting zoo for a couple weekends to the Main Street and Westminster Avenue intersection. The charitable society will be also using the intersection to host a fire truck pull on June 8.

Another highlight is a weekly rotating set of three buskers. The list of performers hasn’t been announced yet, but all of the artists are locally based. If you like the sound of one artist or another, or want to hear a preview before heading to the next market, the Downtown Penticton Association will be hosting a ‘Live at Lunch’ in Nanaimo Square during the week. From Monday to Friday, noon until 1 p.m., the square will be host to live performances by the local artists featured at the market.

If food is more of your interest, then the Community Market has something in store for you.

“This year we’re bringing back our Food Court, since that was so popular and successful, on Backstreet Boulevard,” said Zellweger. “We’ll have 15 food trucks down there this year, it’s really grown.”

There are a couple changes attendants to the markets this year should be aware of.

First, the Community Market this year will start off smaller than usual, with only 200 of their usual 300 or so vendors, due to the construction work on the road in the 300 block of Main Street. Once that work is finished in June, the market will return to its usual range from Wade Avenue all the way down to Front Street and add in an additional 75 vendors.

“We’re hoping the construction will be finished by June 15,” said Allin. “So the first market with the 300 block open would be the 23rd. We’d love it if it was earlier, but that’s our worst case.”

The second change to be aware of is the new hours for the Community Market. From May until June, and from September to October, the market will run from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., sharing the same hours as the Farmers’ Market. July to September the Community Market will run a half hour longer, until 2 p.m.

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