The Downtown Penticton Association (DPA) said its first community market of 2019 on May 4 was “fabulous”.
According to Amber Belcourt, the market and event manager for the DPA, around 160 vendors set up shop from the 200 block to the 300 block on the city’s Main Street. The community market serves as the DPA’s main annual fundraiser and “is a way to highlight the downtown core over 22 Saturday’s each summer”.
“We repeatedly heard from our vendors that it was an exceptional first market for them,” said Belcourt. “To ensure the high level success, the DPA team focused on logistics and superior customer service for the day.
“We received positive feedback from our vendors that the weather was gorgeous and that folks really noticed all of the bright-coloured DPA market shirts worn by stall and helpers.”
Belcourt said organizers did not have an exact number of attendees at the market, but said they will see an increase “as we enter the summer months and the tourist seaon goes into full swing.”
“Attendance on long weekends during the peak of the season can range from 5,000 to 8,000 people,” said Belcourt.
While this first event’s attendance is telling of an upcoming busy season for the community market, Belcourt said they still face certain challenges with hosting this event.
“In the event that owners of dogs bring their pet to the market, we remind them to be mindful of the extreme temperature of the road surfaces as the weather gets warmer heading into the summer. There is often a lack of shade which means dogs can overheat,” said Belcourt. “The concentration of dogs makes it important to have all (of them) on a leash, and that leashes be no more than four feet in length. (Also) plan ahead so dogs have relieved themselves and owners have cleaned up prior to entering the market area. In the event that an accident happens at the market, please be prepared with additional sanitary bags.”
Belcourt also wanted to remind residents that the City of Penticton issues seasonal parking restrictions from May 1 to October 31 and that the DPA’s challenge is “clearing cars parked on the 200 and 300 block of Main Street, Front Street and Backstreet Boulevard in accordance with the city’s rules.” She said cars need to be cleared by 6 a.m. or they will be towed.
At the next community market on May 11, the bike valet will be open for attendees to drop off their bicycles while they shop. Belcourt said the DPA team has heard through anecdotes that this is much-needed service. She said the Penticton and Area Cycling Association issued a release that stated they parked 808 bikes over the market season in the past.
For more information about the DPA’s community markets, visit www.downtownpenticton.org/market.
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