Cloverdale merchants and outdoor vendors are laying out the welcome mat for shoppers this Saturday for the first Market Day of 2015.
As many as 30 vendors are taking part, including food trucks, and local farms selling fresh produce, plus a variety of artisans and small businesses who are joining merchants for sidewalk sales and more from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 176 Street.
It’s the first of five market days this summer being organized by an ad-hoc group of local merchants on the street.
“We’re just trying to give back to the community,” says coordinator Helena Lloyd of Mates Uniforms. “People say, ‘I love Cloverdale. I live in Cloverdale.’ Everyone says it – that’s because they’re proud of what they are.’”
There’s a new way to show that pride – the businesses behind the market days venture are selling $20 Cloverdale T-shirts available at participating businesses. It’s a way help bring in extra revenue to help promote market days.
With two of Cloverdale’s largest community events – the summer blueberry festival and the Halloween Costume Parade in October – put on hold this year, it’s never been more important to find ways to bring new shoppers to the historic town centre, Lloyd says.
“There was going to be nothing happening down here until Christmas,” she says. “People do want to come down here and of course we want people to come and support Cloverdale.”
In addition to being the first market day of 2015, the May 30 event is also the fifth market day since its inception. Launched in the fall of 2013, the market days give people a reason to check out the range of shopping and services the historic town centre has to offer.
“This has grown a lot since last year. There’s still a lot more it could grow,” Lloyd says, adding, “Everybody loves the community feel and hometown attitude [of Cloverdale]. When they come down, they love it.”
Two child-friendly attractions are on the bill this time only: Korki the Clown and electric blue-haired Mrs. Picasso the face painter will set up shop in Hawthorne Square from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Promoting the market is key, as is covering costs.
Fortunately, several sponsors stepped forward earlier this year to help support Market Days: the Bank of Montreal, which donated $2,500, the Cloverdale District Chamber of Commerce ($1,250), ACE Hardware ($250) and the Cloverdale BIA ($2,500).
Look for Market Days planned for June 20, July, August and October.