Night Market Ready to Debut Downtown
Prince George, B.C. – Vendors and patrons and people looking for something to do on a Saturday night will be gathering downtown this evening for the Saturday Night Bazaar, a vendor’s market put together by the Black Donkey Café to attract the community to the core of the city during the evening.
This is one of a number of events organized by café owner Chris Blackier this summer to increase pedestrian traffic in the downtown area and give people something interesting to do.
The café’s event co-ordinator, Serena Scherer, says tonight “we’re having a local community bazaar. It starts at 7 (pm) and runs till midnight. I did my vendor count and we have 33 people setting up. I can’t cram anymore people in there.”
The Black Donkey Café, for those who don’t know, is located at 3rd Avenue and George Street and Scherer says the market “is going to be in our parking lot. So if you keep going along George (from the corner) we have a little garden and there’s an archway you pass through and then there’s our parking lot. So, of course, on a Saturday in the evening our parking lot would be empty and we’re putting all our vendors in there.”
“I do have multiple people doubling up. It’s 54 (feet) by 84, so everyone gets a 10 (foot) by 10 spot, but some people are doubling up which really helps.”
Scherer says there will be a few common items for sale but the majority of the vendors will be offering some very unique wares. “All sorts of things, some artists selling paintings, we have one lady who does, she calls it “rogue” taxidermy. It’s very funky stuff, skulls and oddities.” She says it resembles work “back in the day where they would do taxidermy but make it all funny and inaccurate. But she doesn’t do fur as far as I know. But she’s totally legal and has all the permits for it.”
There will also be crocheted goods, many varieties of hand-made jewelry, chain mail, furniture, home décor, clothing, energy massage items, custom signs, “some video game-themed stuff which I think will go really well”, custom leather work and more. She also notes the Big Brothers and Sisters, a none-profit organization, will be set up on site selling raffle tickets.
Scherer says tonight’s event is sort of a trial run with plans to hopefully offer a night market throughout the summer next year outside the courthouse. “Ya we definitely want to make it (a) regular (event), it’s a bad time to make it regular now. Hopefully we’ll get to do one in September but who knows if the weather co-operates?”
“A lot of the stuff can’t get wet, like a lot of the art, so we can’t really have the markets in rain. Plus not a lot of people will turn out if it’s raining, right?” She says many of the vendors do have their own tents to protect against the weather.
Organizers have encouraged local vendors to get involved. “We’re trying to make it as accessible to everyone as we could. So like we’re not charging for the spots, the only thing they had to pay for is a table, if they needed to rent it.” She says the rental company “gave us an awesome deal so the tables are even cheaper and I think next time, if it’s more established, we’ll be able to get a better deal on tents. Because in the summer, if we start it again, it will be hot and you don’t want those people sitting in the sun or the rain.”
Scherer says any money raised during the market stays with the individual vendors. “We’re trying to boost the local economy. We’re not profiting from the vendors, we’re only getting the foot traffic. A lot of them were surprised that we’re not charging for spots.”
“I’d love to see if my plot of the parking lot goes over well. I made a grid and want to know if I could fit more people, do it a little better, because we had so much interest and then had to turn people down. I probably have about five vendors who would like to do it next time, and then the two I had to turn down.”
The Pokemon Go craze is incorporated into this evening’s market however Scherer says “Pokemon Go is one thing but not everyone plays and so we want to embrace everyone. There is something for everybody here at the bazaar. I fear for my wallet! There’s so many things I want to check out.”
There will also be entertainment through the night: belly dancers from 7 to 7:30, two live bands and a magician who will be wondering around doing “some cool stuff.”