A Friday night market in downtown Vernon has been approved after a slight hiccup last week had market organizers waiting for an answer.
Last week Vernon City Council had asked the Downtown Vernon Association (DVA) to ensure that the majority of business owners in the area approved of the market, the DVA got the answer quickly and the council gave them the go-ahead.
“We had a special budget meeting planned for Tuesday and we added this as a late item because the DVA was prepared and ready,” explained Vernon Mayor Rob Sawatzky.
The DVA presented the required vote and it was resoundingly in favour of the Friday night avenue market.
“The businesses were overwhelmingly in support, 90 per cent plus, so council approved the DVA request and congratulated the DVA members on their good work and good processes.”
Swatazky feels the market will be a great addition to downtown Vernon.
“Anything that brings people and activity and life to the core of your community and to your downtown business area is really a measure of success,” he said. “I think this is another step in many that have been taken over the last number of years to try to make sure we have a thriving heart in our downtown.”
DVA Executive Director Lara Konkin is pleased with the decision, despite the delay.
“We are going ahead full steam, May 9 will be opening day,” said Konkin. “I am thrilled, I am excited, it's great news for downtown.”
“Council wanted to ensure we had the support of our merchants which we knew we had, so we went and did that and presented it to them and the results were more than adequate at 93 per cent of the businesses we surveyed wanting us to put the avenue market on.”
She had mentioned concerns that the delay would hurt the market and vendors, but now feels they will go ahead without any further delays.
“It is going to be a challenge to get everything on track again as we were supposed to start on May 2, but we have postponed to May 9 to make sure we had enough time,” said Konkin. “We have had such a huge overwhelming response to this from our merchants and from outside vendors that I don't see it being a problem.”
It will include all merchants in the six block stretch of 30th Avenue in downtown Vernon.
As well, two to four blocks of the road itself will be closed entirely during the market to allow the addition of outside vendors (farmers, bakers, artisans etc.) who can then set up their wares in the closed road.