The Town of Garner will host two new events during the next few months with the hopes of bringing momentum to its downtown area.
One of the events, a pop-up market, will host 30 different craft vendors at the Garner Recreational Park on the last Saturday of each month for the next four months. The other is an outdoors movie series.
“We don’t have a lot of retail downtown so we want to create new opportunities for people to come down, find ways for them to eat downtown, find ways for them to shop downtown,” Mari Howe, downtown development manager, said.
Pop-up markets, similar to flea markets, are named for their tendency to come for a day, draw large crowds, then leave. The popularity of these mobile markets is not new, but it has grown in recent years around the Triangle. For a day, local arts, crafters, designers and small businesses can set up shop outside and sell their goods. And consumers can come by and buy their products.
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“It’s an opportunity to bring retail to downtown and give people an opportunity to be and shop in downtown,” Howe said, “and to give people reasons to come downtown. Some crafters live in Garner and some who live beyond Garner.”
Among the products being sold will be jewelry, paintings, children’s clothing, body products, natural products and bakeries. One of the vendors is a farmer, who will bring locally produced honey.
The last pop-up market will be on Nov. 26, on national Small Business Saturday. The pop-up market will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Last Thursday, was the start of the town’s Outdoors Movie event. Howe said the ’80s theme targeted toward couples for date night.
“We have so many events in Garner that are geared toward kids, so we wanted to do something family-friendly, but that would probably appeal more to the millennials, young professionals who are moving into Garner. And young families with or without kids.”
The event will be held on the back lawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. If it rains it will be moved inside.
There will also be two food trucks and a craft brewer on-site. On Thursday, “Back to the Future” will be shown. In September, “ET” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” will air.
Downtown saw a little increase in development in 2015 and 2016. While one business left, there were three new ones. That created a net of nine new full-time jobs and seven part-time positions. The new recreation center, which is expected to be built in less than two years, is expected to help with that.
Howe said the biggest problem with bringing new development is the lack of space in recent years. There is currently only a 4 percent vacancy rate.
However, downtown has one space that is available for lease now. It is 1,000 square feet, and Howe is hoping with these events, someone will show interest.
“People want to come downtown to eat and to be entertained,” Howe said.
Outdoor movie schedule
Aug. 25 at 7 p.m.
Film: “Back to the Future”
Food Trucks: Flirting with Fire (Pizza) & Jones Lemonade Slushies
Beer: Brueprint Brewing
Sept. 15 at 6:30p.m.
Film: “ET: The Extra-Terrestrial”
Food Trucks: Heavy Metal Grillers & Mama Bird's Cookies & Cream
Sept. 22 at 6:30 p.m.
Film: “Ferris Bueller's Day Off”
Food Trucks: BamPowChow & Fresh Local Ice Cream
*Each movie will be screened on the backlawn of the Garner Performing Arts Center. If it rains, the event will be moved inside the GPAC