NEW EAST BANK MARKET
Having fun isn’t just for the weekend anymore
Shopping, eating and listening to live music.
Sounds like a great way to spend a weekend.
But a Tuesday late afternoon/ early evening?
Chris Graham sure hopes so. Graham manages the new East Bank Market, which began March 5 in downtown Bossier City’s East Bank District. The market will be open every Tuesday from 4-7 p.m. Admission and parking are free.
“It is a combination of farm goods, handmade goods, crafts and several food trucks per week,” Graham explained. “We’ll have baked goods, clothing, jewelry – anything that you have seen at previous markets. With this market, we’re actually going to get a lot more participation from local businesses. Unlike the Farmers’ Market, which is handmade, produce and a grower’s-type market, this is going to be a little bit of everything, so we’ve got a lot of local businesses that are going to want to set up down there and have a little booth.”
Graham knows a thing or two about putting on a “market.” He started – and still operates – the Bossier City Farmers’ Market, the Bossier Night Market and the Bossier City Makers Fair. As a former vendor selling Man Made Soap, Graham saw the need for local people to have a place to sell their items.
“I’ve seen how much hard work it takes to come up with a product or make it, sand it down or grow it,” Graham said. “A lot of these people are hobbyists, and there are some very, very talented people, but there’s just no place for them. We’re just trying to give them a place.”
That “place” will be in a relatively new area which is gaining in popularity. The East Bank District is already home to two popular restaurants.
“You’ve got BeauJax Crafthouse on one end and Flying Heart Brewery on the other,” Graham said. “You’ve got Retro 521 Coffee down there and a couple of smaller retail stores. It’s got the bones of a great street and atmosphere.”
But why have a weekly event on a Tuesday?
“We’ve had a huge response from the other markets we run and manage,” Graham said. “The only thing we’ve ever heard as a negative is “I wish it weren’t on the weekend. I wish it were in the afternoon.” Now, those people have a chance to come out and experience the market as our Saturday crew does. It’s Tuesday evenings. It is on a weekday. We picked Tuesday on purpose. Everybody is tired on Monday. Wednesday you may have religious obligations. Thursday is just too close to the weekend, so we went with Tuesday. That is something the businesses down there we talked with also said – Tuesdays would be great for them.”
At the market, you are sure to see items you could buy somewhere else, either online or from a big-box store. But buying “local” has its advantages.
“We need to have them (local vendors) selling at events like this to keep tax dollars at home,” Graham said. “If somebody is spending money at one of these markets, they are buying directly from a local merchant or vendor. That money is going right back into their family or their budget. As far as the big circle of life, it just keeps those dollars locally.”
If you would like to learn more about the new East Bank Market – including the opportunity to complete a vendor application – you may visit www.eastbankmarket.com.