Lively logo, check. Re-arranged route, check. Vendor vitality, check.
Now all that’s needed for Trail Market on the Esplanade is wonderful weather – every other Friday beginning June 9 marks artisanal season on the city’s riverfront.
That’s where pencil-pushing ends and finger crossing begins for the venue’s new administrators, the United Way of Trail and District – last year, most of the Friday events were dampened by heavy rain.
Re-tagged “Where Communities Come Together,” and for the first time, the outdoor affair will be run as a fundraiser by the local United Way, in a joint venture with the City of Trail.
All of the organization’s proceeds will be directed back into local charities and community impact initiatives such as, All That Kids Can Be, From Poverty to Possibility, and Healthy People, Strong Communities.
“We thought this would be a nice boost to our annual revenue for re-investment into the community,” says Naomi McKimmie, the United Way’s executive director. “So we see this partnership as a big win for the communities we serve and live in.”
McKimmie and lead volunteer Christa Munn did have their work cut out for them.
Popular past merchants have been a little wary about signing up after the drizzly days of 2016.
On top of that, logistics came with a twist because a block of Helena Street that’s usually bustling with food vendors, is out-of-bounds due to Riverfront Centre construction.
All that has been ironed out, however.
Merchant interest is picking up this week and a market map has been re-drawn from Jubilee Park to Spokane Street. So by Friday, when the season’s first Trail Market on the Esplanade goes from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. , shoppers will have plenty to listen to and see.
“(Vendor) applications keep coming in,” McKimmie told the Trail Times on Monday. “It’s going to be a little slow to start, locals are gun shy because of how poor the weather was last year,” she added. “We don’t expect a full contingent for our first couple of markets, but we expect we’ll be able to fill up completely within the first month, and have a full market all summer.”
She says the venue layout will be more linear this season as well.
“It will go from the alley (Dewdney Avenue), all the way over to Spokane Street and the Esplanade,” McKimmie said. “And it will go right into Jubilee Park … where there will be a kids zone on the grass.”
The Trail Area Health and Environment Program, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, and Family Action Network are setting up a dedicated family space in the park for playtime and for visitors to learn about local programs and services.
Aside from information booths, merchants from the region and beyond will be selling wares ranging from handmade jewellery, soaps and crafts to baking, ready-to-eat goodies, fresh produce and organics.
“This is a community market, so we allow a very wide scope of vendors, ” she added. “We are really excited about it … there’s some old favourites coming back, and we’ve got live entertainment lined up for each market again this year.”
Spaces are filling up, though new vendor applications are still available at the United Way office on Farwell Street, and on the city’s website, trail.ca.
Anyone interested in becoming a vendor or performing at the event, is encouraged to contact McKimmie 250.364.0999 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trail council awarded the market’s administrative contract in early February for 60 per cent of net revenue generated during the 2017 events. The dates remain every other Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. beginning this Friday, one evening market, 4-8 p.m. from July to September, and a Special Spooktacular edition on Oct. 28.