Lots of rain in early summer, smoky skies in August, and new markets popping up locally, likely led to less participation in the city’s Trail Market on the Esplanade. (Trail Times market photo, August 2017)

Trail mayor: Declining participation ends Market on the Esplanade

incrEDIBLE Farmers Market will still go every other Saturday; special events at Music in the Park

The Esplanade market in downtown Trail has been laid to rest after years of wacky weather, smoky August skies, and stiff competition from all the new markets cropping up each season.

“A motion was approved to discontinue the Market on the Esplanade after many years,” Mayor Lisa Pasin announced Monday. “Realizing there have been many factors that have contributed to the decline in market participation over the years, including market saturation,” she added.

“There are two other markets in Trail, including Trail’s incrEDIBLE Farmers Market on Saturdays and the Trail and District Arts Council’s night market associated with Music in the Park. And we are very hopeful that the city can assist in promoting these markets so they are successful.”

When Trail Market on the Esplanade began eight years ago, it ran every other Friday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. in the summer months, with special night markets on four Wednesdays.

Read more: Food, music and shopping at Trail’s night market

Read more: Music in the Park returns in Trail

For the first five years of the Esplanade market, the event thrived with 40 to 60 vendors every other Friday, and up to 70 vendors at the Wednesday evening markets.

In 2016, the market hosted 20 to 30 vendors at both the Friday and Wednesday markets. In 2017, participation for both markets averaged 20 vendors.

Last year, when the city hosted the event solely on Wednesday nights, only 16 to 24 vendors signed on.

The Trail Market on the Esplanade was originally created as an initiative brought forward by the Downtown Opportunities and Action Committee (DOAC) in 2011 to help bring vibrancy to the downtown core and to increase shopping traffic to local businesses and services.

The Trail and District Chamber of Commerce and the city, as part of the DOAC, spearheaded the event. For the first six seasons, the chamber provided administrative support (vendor bookings, fee collections, mapping, musician bookings and onsite duties at each market. City staff, including public works, arena and city hall staff, provided operational and advertising support.

For the 2017 season, the city released an Expression of Interest for the administrative duties and received two proposals. The city awarded the contract to the United Way of Trail and District, who then provided the administrative support for a 10-market season.

Upon the conclusion of the event, the United Way indicated they would not be submitting a proposal for subsequent market seasons due to loss of staff time (total of 160 hours) and volunteer time (total of 102 hours) needed to administer the market.

In 2018, the City changed the structure of the structure to an evening market only, hosting three Wednesday evenings during the summer months. The City of Trail took on the administrative duties and continued with operational and advertising support. City staff collectively spent approximately 70 hours to accomplish the three markets.


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