Sunny skies, smiles and sellouts served as a testament to success for the first market of the season on Oak Bay Avenue.
“We had more vendors than we’ve ever had before,” said Heather Leary, project manager. “Our produce vendors were very successful, our beer and wine and spirit vendors were very successful, people were appreciating that local product.
The market boasted almost 100 vendors, with farm produce and edibles joining artisans showing locally crafted items including jewellery, clothing, wood turned items, pottery, art cards and furniture.
“People enjoyed the great diversity of stuff that was there. It was an interesting mix and I think the community really embraced that,” Leary said.
“There’s a real sense of community. I know the vendors feel well supported by the community so they really like to be there.”
The seventh season’s inaugural market featured a plethora of tasting options from hummus to the newly added beers and spirits which went over well with the market crowd.
“We sold out of beer and glassware with an hour left,” said Chris Morin of Spinnakers, vowing to be prepared for July’s market. “People were really happy to be able to buy a growler and squealer on site and take it home.”
They sold 50 containers and about 150 litres of beer.
“I think it was a surprise in general to people that we were there,” Morin said.
“(Wednesday) was a trial run; we’re definitely keen on doing as many as possible [in the region],” he said.
“It’s more exposure for your local breweries and ciders and wineries. With all the negative things going on with prices it’s a nice positive thing.”
The only negative was folks seeking a cup of beer to enjoy while perusing the nearly 100 vendors that lined the Avenue.
“They understood once they understood it was law,” Morin said.
The Oak Bay Village Night Market also brought free yoga to the lawn at municipal hall, which will also continue through the season.
Markets run July 8, Aug. 12 and Sept. 9 from 4 to 8 p.m. on Oak Bay Avenue.
“We don’t anticipate a single empty space,” Leary said of the July market. “It’ll be the same size but a little more full.”