Nanaimo’s night market was introduced last year at a time when we needed it – when the downtown needed it.
And it took just one summer’s worth of Thursdays for the Commercial Street Night Market to become established and make positive change in the downtown and in Nanaimo.
The night market, an initiative of the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce, returns this Thursday, June 20, for the first of 11 consecutive Thursdays in our downtown core, concluding Aug. 29. From 5-9 p.m. once a week, Commercial Street will be closed to traffic but very much open for business, with the street’s stores and restaurants at their most welcoming alongside other vendors, a bunch of food trucks, family activities, music and other entertainment. Together, it’s enough of a draw to bring thousands of people to one spot, and those crowds have helped the event feed into its own success, because the more the merrier, and the merrier it is, the more that people want to come again.
The first market of the season will be a “don’t miss it” event, says the chamber of commerce, noting that there will be three different musical acts, a dance troupe and a hoop dancer, nine food trucks, and twice as many vendors as there were on opening night in 2018.
There are a lot of people who believe in Nanaimo’s downtown and envision the ways it can grow up – figuratively and literally – and modernize and revitalize. Incrementally, there could be more and more people living, and living their lives, downtown.
But the fact of the matter is that we don’t need to wait around to see what good things will happen downtown – good things are happening now. And the best time to see that and enjoy it will be on market nights in Nanaimo this summer.