Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Every year, shoppers and vendors wait in anticipation for Public Market to open its doors.
Centennial Hall opened its doors for Public Market Friday at noon.
Peter Metcalfe, Juneau Public Market's owner and operator, talked to News of the North about the weekend's plans.
"For the 40th year, we're opening the Juneau Public Market at Centennial Hall and the JAHC. I can sense the excitement people are gathering together to get in. Open from noon to seven on Friday and 10 am to 5 pm Saturday and Sunday. This year we have more new never presented at Public Market. There's like 55 never presented before vendors here."
Metcalfe went into more detail on this weekend's vendors.
"There's about 160. Quite a few vendors are doubling up or tripling up as the case may be. But we have every available space in Centennial Hall and JAHC occupied. So they're coming from all over; including the East Coast and Midwest and Oregon and Washington. Dillingham, I think is our furthest vendor from Alaska. Several are from the Interior, and a number of them have come down from Anchorage. And a lot of the out-of-state vendors, they are visiting family here in Juneau."
In the spirit of Thanksgiving and the holiday market, Metcalfe said what he's thankful for.
"I'm thankful that we're able to get together once again unhindered by fears of COVID. So much more fun to be meeting in person. We did 2020 by a virtual public market and trust me that wasn't nearly as much fun. This is a social occasion, as much as anything. I enjoy seeing my friends and notice other people are enjoying meeting people they may not have seen for a year."
This year, there are no requirements for COVID mitigations, although masking is recommended.
Metcalfe talked about the 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. The Downtown Business Association is doing gift cards, Lily Hope is a Ravenstail and Chilkat weaver, and we have Brenda Schwartz doing a giveaway too. Shelby Oredson is giving away a pet portrait."
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."
A cello choir performed Friday afternoon, and a Holiday Choir will sing Saturday.
Above: Wren and Raven Botanicals came from Gustavus. Below: Stoked Beekeeping Co., Maria, and Isabella Elise came from Homer. Maria's hand-rolled beeswax candles.
Above: Tongass Tie-Dye partners with Juneau Woolies in a booth (both from Juneau). Below: Wintersong's Soap selection of soap and body butter from Sitka.
These are just a few of the vendors out of an outstanding 160 total at the Juneau Public Market this weekend.