PARKSVILLE — One of the most popular markets on all of Vancouver Island is set to take over downtown Parksville for a 15th year.
The Summer by the Sea Street Market kicks off at 6 p.m. on June 12, running every Tuesday through the end of August.
Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce executive director and city councillor Kim Burden said people can expect another year of bustling streets lined with more than 180 vendors.
“Poeple just love it. It’s a great opportunity to go out and do something on a Tuesday evening. You throw 2,500 people into an area and you get a little vibrancy. Just the variety of vendors is amazing.”
Burden said while the market will look and feel very similar, he’s excited about the addition of several wineries this year.
The market will be about the same size as recent years, something Burden said is by design
“We haven’t grown tremendously. We’re trying actually not to grow because we don’t want to be shutting anymore streets down. It’s certainly a heck of a lot bigger than it started 15 years ago.”
He said the market benefits the community in two very specific ways, driving economic development and tourism. Burden said a few of their vendors went on to establish brick-and-mortar stores.
“We started this to bring awareness to what was available in our downtown from the existing merchants…They don’t always sell on Tuesday night but when people have an opportunity to view what you’ve got, they will come back.”
When it comes to tourism, Burden said it’s all about creating an “experience” for visitors.
“It’s not about who, what or where you are, it’s about the experience when people come to visit your community. So it adds that great experience for the people visiting Parksville.”
The popularity of Parksville’s downtown summer market led to similar ventures starting up in Nanaimo and Port Alberni.
You can learn more about the Summer by the Sea market here.