What’s hot in downtown Trail this summer aside from the weather?
It’s the sizzling popularity of the Trail Market on the Esplanade.
In response to the growing demand for vendor space, an expansion into Helena Street between Cedar and Dewdney avenues will happen at the market on Friday between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
“We are getting bigger and better,” said Coun. Eleanor Gattafoni-Robinson.
“In my world this is what the market is all about,” she said.
“Because the bigger we get the more people we will bring to the downtown core.”
The reason the city and its partner, the Trail and District Chamber of Commerce (TCOC), decided to add extra space to the south end of town’s market area is two-fold.
“Jubilee Park was filling up and it was getting difficult for some vendors to pack their wares further and further from the street,” said Norm Casler, TCOC executive director.
“In addition we have several amazing food vendors that want to join us.”
Increased square footage will accommodate the high demand for vendors with larger booths such as produce trucks; and it is seen as a way to connect the market with existing shops located within the downtown core.
“We are getting a lot of nice comments from the downtown merchants saying that the activities on market days are noticeable,” said Gattafoni-Robinson.
“And that is exactly what we hoped for, more people shopping downtown.”
At Casa Di Cioccolato (Path of Quality) on Bay Avenue, Daniel Haley has owned his artisan consumables business since Christmas, and said the market has definitely increased foot traffic and visibility to his unique store.
“Absolutely I notice an increase in people on those days,” said Haley.
“I think we need to focus on trying to really figure out what will interest people and make them want to walk through and mingle in downtown year-round.”
Simone Park, manager of L’Bears Health Food on Cedar Avenue for the last 20 years, said although her business is usually a shopping destination, she conceded that the market has brought in a few new faces.
“The first market day was great, we had a really good day,” she said.
“With the weather for the second one, we didn’t see much difference although we did get a few people come in, curious to see what we have.”
This week, market-goers might experience a long wait line for a first-time booth, but the queue won’t be for fresh produce, goodies or knick-knacks.
Instead, the booth will be manned by Trail council, on hand to engage shoppers in conversation.
In June, Trail council committed to increasing face-to-face public consultation and engagement as one of its top 2013 priorities.
“There will be a City of Trail booth set up with a member of Trail council present for the duration,” said Andrea Jolly, communications and events coordinator for the city.
She said councillors will use the opportunity to answer questions from the public and listen to comments and feedback.
The booth will display current drawing of the downtown plans and some informational pieces, added Jolly.
“Their presence (Trail council) at the market is an excellent opportunity to engage with the city’s citizens.”