Successful downtown Nanaimo night market wrapping up for summer

By Spencer Sterritt
August 30, 2018 - 1:47pm Updated: August 30, 2018 - 4:25pm

Thousands packed Commercial St. for the first night market and the crowds haven't significantly diminished since then. Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

Bands and street performers will send the final night market of the summer off in style, focused around the Diana Krall Plaza.Spencer Sterritt/NanaimoNewsNOW

NANAIMO — What became one of Nanaimo's most popular downtown events finishes for the year Thursday night, capping a successful attempt to rejuvenate the area.

Thursday, Aug. 30 marks the 11th and final Commerical St. Night Market of 2018. Thousands are expected to pack Commercial St. and take in the sights, as they have all summer at the Greater Nanaimo Chamber of Commerce event.

Chamber CEO Kim Smythe said the weekly market has fulfilled his long-time dream of a thriving downtown Nanaimo, with food trucks, vendors and entertainment in the street while shops extended their hours.

“It's not just the fact thousands showed up, but thousands showed up and enjoyed it. When everyone down there seemed to have the same look on their face of excitement, awe and appreciation, we knew we had something.”

Smythe and the Chamber have tried to years to boost the profile of downtown Nanaimo.

“People have wanted something exciting to happen downtown for a long time. So they were willing to feed it their energy and keep it up all summer long,” he said of keeping steady crowds throughout the summer.

Between four-and-six thousand people packed the streets each week without any major dips in attendance, except for nights with poor weather, Smythe said.

Once the grand finale is in the books, Smythe said the Chamber and merchants will take deep breaths and then start looking at “what else can we plan together to make the downtown successful and to make sure it's the heart of the city people love and appreciate.”

He said it's too early to predict any changes to the Commercial St. Night Market next year.

The last event of the season runs from 5 to 9 p.m.


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