Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Peter Metcalfe joined Dano on Capital Chat to talk about the 40th annual Public Market that begins Friday afternoon.
Juneau Public Market is an annual three-day Christmas retail event held each Thanksgiving Day weekend since 1983.
This year there will be about 160 vendors, and about 55 of them have never been to the public market before.
Peter Metcalfe is the owner and operator of the Public Market. He said what to expect this upcoming weekend.
"Come down to the 40th annual Juneau Public Market. Noon to seven on Friday and then from 10 am to 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Sunday is Family Day when we have more prizes than ever and we have these elves cruising through the public market and giving out little prizes to the kids and candy. So it's really going to be a fun day. Plus we have a cello choir that's going to be performing on Friday afternoon, about two o'clock. Wonderful musicians, about a dozen cellos, will be performing in the main lobby of Centennial Hall. So come on down. We have the Holiday Choir, who will be singing on Saturday."
Metcalfe said something the out-of-town artists have in common.
"We have something like 60 vendors coming from all over Alaska and another dozen or so coming from Washington state, Oregon, Maryland, Oklahoma. A common characteristic of people coming from other states is they're coming here to visit family for Thanksgiving and it's a way of paying for their travel."
Metcalfe said that there will be a lot of prizes available.
"It's $8 admission to Centennial Hall, no admission to the JAHC where we have another 40 vendors. They're a pretty diverse set of vendors in the JAHC. Definitely want to go over there because that's where we have door prizes. We have something like $2,500 worth of prize drawings that will be happening on an hourly basis at the JAHC. So you don't want to miss that and it's free to enter. So, anybody who doesn't want to spare the $8 admission to Centennial Hall, you got 40 more vendors to visit with the JAHC at no cost."
Metcalfe also noted that there will be different food stands and coffee available.
"It's an opportunity to take a break, sit down and enjoy the food and our food court. We have four entree vendors. And then we have the espresso booth by Heritage coffee. And that's been a standard for many years. Then there's plenty of dessert items throughout the market."
He compared this year's Public Market to last year's restrictions.
"I saw firsthand how important it is to have an in-person event and this year, we're back to normal. We do recommend wearing masks, if you come down, it can be crowded. In 2020, during the pandemic, I hosted an online public market virtual market, and we had about 40 vendors. And you know, they did well, but to me, it was like participating in a Zoom meeting. It just wasn't the same thing. You know, it's like having this event in person is what it's all about. It's the social aspect of it that is so heartwarming and so much fun."