Outdoor market plans to be unveiled next week

The Trail Outdoor Market will return for a second season, although mums the word on its details for now.

The Trail Outdoor Market will return for a second season, although mums the word on its details for now.

Norm Casler, executive director for the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce, explained that information will not be released until after the Monday night council meeting.

All Casler could comment on for now, is that the chamber is busy finalizing plans.

Since its first day of inception on June 15 of last year, the outdoor market grew in popularity as crowds turned out in increasing numbers and the number of vendors mushroomed from 15 to 44.

The markets ran every second Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. on the Esplanade.

The increasing number of vendors had stretched the market from the corner of Spokane Street and the Esplanade into Jubilee Park.

During the summer run, which ended Oct. 19, the 10 markets drew in over 6,000 people and 300 vendors.

Due to its outdoor success, the initiative to keep the market running was made in early November, when it was moved indoors to the Cominco Gymnasium.

With a total revenue of just over $6,000, the market went from 15 vendors at its inaugural market and finished with 62 vendors on its last day, Dec. 14.

The total profit, accrued from vendor permits, was split between the city and the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce.

Finances aside, the resurrection of the market after a 40-year absence meant more to the community than dollars.

“First of all, during the outdoor market, the view was spectacular,” said Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni Robinson.

“And it was a meeting place, where people could talk, eat together and enjoy each others company.

“It was like a rebirth for the city in a way,” she said.

“People were getting to see one another and would wait every two weeks to meet up again.”

Gattafoni Robinson explained that the market drew people to the downtown core to socialize and it kept them there; which was a bonus to other downtown businesses as well.

“It proved that, and I think this year, its going to be bigger and better.”

“We are working very hard in the background to make it another successful year,” said Gattafoni.

The development and implementation of a downtown farmers market on Esplanade Avenue was rated as high priority in the Trail “Downtown Plans” downtown action items list, released in early 2012.

As part of the developing civic plaza, repeated surveys uncovered a perceived need for a downtown open air market as part of the picture that the city was formulating to improve the downtown milieu.