Downtown Vernon Association plans for return of 2900 Plaza this summer

DVA plans for plaza

The Downtown Vernon Association is looking to make a few tweaks to the 2900 block plaza this summer.

The downtown block closure on 30th Avenue would shift events from Monday to Friday to Tuesday to Saturday.

Pending council approval of a third summer for the closure, the DVA envisions seven live performances a week from July 5 to Sept. 5.

It's also hoping for more engagement with local groups, from Science Centre experiments, to art demonstrations, dance troupes and more, along with more seating and shade, and more free games.

As well, it plans to add some fake turf for Downtown Sounds nights so audiences can sit.

The DVA is also encouraging restaurants to extend their patios into the plaza.

A Saturday marketplace is also in the works.

Last summer saw a more positive response to the plaza, with more activation and programming.

It is estimated to have attracted more than 9,000 visitors during its summer run.

"We strive to provide a clean and engaging space suitable for families, business people and the community to use," the DVA says in a report to council.

"Our aim is to stimulate overall downtown engagement and exploration of over 500 mom and pop shops ... by transforming part of Vernon's main street from a vehicular corridor into an exciting urban, contemporary, pedestrian pathway."

The DVA is looking beyond this year and sees the plaza "transitioning into a core competency" going forward.

The DVA is requesting $38,000 in a combination of cash and in-kind contributions from the city in 2023. It will also be applying for a Tourism Vernon grant for additional marketing support.

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