Portland Saturday Market needs $120K to ensure survival
Portland Saturday Market is reopening Saturday, April 17, but needs help. The market is launching a GoFundMe Campaign called "Back the Saturday Market." The goal is to raise $150,000. At this point, they have raised just over $30,000.
"Saturday Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Portland, drawing up to 1 million people and, in a normal year, annual sales of $12 million," says Executive Director of the Portland Saturday Market Howie Bierbaum.
"Something with this much heart and personality, that's also an economic driver for our city and key to its revival, deserves to thrive. For the first time we're asking for a little support, calling on all of the people who have fond memories and experiences with us to chip in what they can and help make sure we're here long into the future."
Long-time market favorites Commonscents Soap, Nachtrab Glass Studio and Panepento Jewelry Designs, as well as popular food carts Horn of Africa, Angelina's Greek Gyros and Taste of Poland are eager to welcome shoppers and eaters back to the market, nestled between Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the historic Skidmore Fountain, with a convenient MAX stop steps away. While only half of the typical 250 vendors can return this season due to safety precautions, every item sold is still made by the person selling it, from handmade art and crafts to jewelry. Market vendors and staff are required to wear face coverings, hand sanitizer is readily available and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a mask. All booths are socially distanced for enhanced safety.
"Travel Portland is thrilled for Saturday Market to starts its 48th season," says Billie Moser, Vice President of International Affairs and Community Engagement. "The beloved outdoor market is iconic to visitors and locals alike for its welcoming and talented community of makers. Its return is a signal of Portland's reawakening and we're energized to welcome visitors back to the city. Saturday Market continues to be one of Portland's must-visit attractions."
To maintain COVID-19 safety precautions, the Portland Saturday Market was forced to dramatically reduce its vendor capacity, and ultimately closed early last season. Add the state wildfires, and the market's operations dropped more than 75% from a typical year, creating a deficit and uncertain future. While it was ultimately able to avoid the threat of permanent closure and can reopen thanks to federal funds, community support will help ensure its survival. It's hopeful Oregonians who've grown up with the market will support its "Back the Market" campaign that will guarantee its success in 2021 and beyond.
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