The Fort St. James Night Market to encourage activity in the downtown in the evenings saw an estimated 400 visitors.
Organizers Olivia Mcmahon and Jessica Rasmussen, both working for the District of Fort St. James, said the event had around 38 vendors.
Their goal for the event was 25.
“So that was a big, happy surprise,” said Mcmahon.
Vendors came from throughout the region, from Fraser Lake, Fort Fraser, Prince George, Cluculz Lake, Vanderhoof and Fort St. James.
There were a few hiccups in the setup, with the lights for the outdoor stage being left behind then not able to be hooked up in time and the food vendor Spicey Greens getting lost on the way and being over an hour late.
“There’s always a few kinks, but we ironed those out,” said Mcmahon. Once Spicey Greens arrived and set up they had a line up until they were completely sold out.
In addition to the vendors selling everything from crafts to cupcakes, clothes to food, there were also entertainers performing on the outdoor stage, a portable stage the District of Vanderhoof supplied for the event.
There was the Lost and Found Puppet Company, with a puppet theatre production by Maggie Winston of Vancouver for the kids, Marcel Prince and his guitar, Ditnikwun Drummers did some singing and drumming, Doug Koyama and friends created some on-the spot music, Rosewood’s Diary of Vanderhoof rocked the stage, Barefoot Caravan drummed some beats and Canadian Waste, a four-piece from Fraser Lake, finished everyone off with some originals.
While many of the vendors packed up by around 9 or 9:30 p.m., the music went on past 10 p.m..
Some of the local stores such as TRU Value, The Source and the Health Food Store which stayed open during the event didn’t necessarily see a lot of extra business during the market itself, but many were busy with vendors getting ready prior to market hours and Mcmahon said they did find it was good exposure and they were excited for the Love Fort St. James buy local campaign which was launched at the event.
The idea for the night market came about in July, and so while things were put together fairly last-minute, Mcmahon said things went well and she thinks they would go smoother with longer timelines and they may have had even more participants.
The door prize drawn for visitors to the event was won by Cassandra Hammett and was a stay and play package which included one night at The View Hotel, free passes and lunch at the Fort St. James National Historic Site and a round of golf at the Stuart Lake Golf Club.