Downtown Comes Alive at Saturday Night Bazaar
Prince George, B.C. – The first Saturday Night Bazaar was held in the downtown core last night and, while the weather gods could have cooperated a little more, there was a very good turnout to what hopefully is an idea that will grab some traction next summer.
The market of vendors was put on by the Black Donkey Café, whose owner Chris Blackier wants to have events in the city that attract residents and visitors downtown during those lazy summer evenings. This first market may be followed by another in September, depending on the weather, and Blackier is hoping to get access to the area outside the courthouse, across 3rd Avenue from his café, to run night markets throughout the warm months next year.
Last night’s bazaar ran in the café’s parking lot from 7 pm to midnight and featured the mostly unique wares of 33 vendors. There were some very unusual items created by artist Dayna Slater, the owner of Boneyard Skullptures, who creates artistic pieces out of the skulls and bones of dead animals.
She says she has always spent a lot of time quading out in the bush and has run across the remains of many animals over the years. Dayna says “I think animals deserve the same respect we give to people”, and that is the basis of the work she does to create her pieces of art.
There were all sorts of items available from the vendors including paintings and assorted works by other artists, hand made jewelry, clothing, furniture, leather work, furniture, video game items and more.
The vendors weren’t charged for their spot to set up their table and all of the money from sales went to the vendors themselves.
The most prevalent comments during the night were “look at all of the people here” and “this should have happened a long time ago.” It really was a reflection of the wave upon wave of people who showed an interest in heading downtown when there is something going on.
The organizer of the whole thing, Chris Blackier, was impressed with the “phenomenal amount of people” who turned out. “The support has been inexplicable, unexplainable (but) it is totally explainable because an often heard comment when people are asked “hey, what are you doing tonight’ is “I’m sittin’ at home, there’s nothing to do.””
Blackier says “it takes a community to get together and do something like this. You know we have the space and surrounding businesses have been supportive enough to aid us in this venture. I’m not entirely shocked by the turnout because the City of Prince George is an awesome supporter. And it’s last-minute, we’ve only had a week-and-a-half to put this together so we got last minute, they got last minute, it’s a mutual support system I suppose.”
Blackier agrees that his event and the one a couple of weekends ago at the brewery are strong indicators that people of all ages are looking for exciting things to do within this community. “If we can try to attribute it to the all-ages demographic I think we’d be better off as a community. We still need to have our “adult fun time and R and R time” sans kids but since we opened 2015 February our main goal has been to fill that facet which is not-existent, which is that all-ages night life crew. You know, a safe place where people can come down and just hang out.”
“Being in the situation and the logistical place that we’re at it’s been trying, but as long as we keep putting a foot forward there’s really no stopping the momentum shift that’s been in the last two months.”
He says his plan is to gain the access to run these night markets through the summer next year outside the courthouse, and to provide other exciting activities along the 3rd Avenue corridor.