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Something new on Small Business Saturday

An outdoor holiday market in Wilkes-Barre will open Saturday and be there until December 12th.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — There's a fresh Christmas tree on Public Square in Wilkes-Barre, but that's not the only recent holiday inspired addition to the downtown park.

Twelve translucent sheds are there too, because for the first time the downtown holiday market will be held outdoors.

"The pandemic this year really served as the impetus to do something that we had been thinking about doing for some time, which is moving the holiday market right onto public square," explained Larry Newman, the executive director of the Diamond City Partnership. 

Diamond City Partnership is Wilkes-Barre's non-profit downtown management organization. 

"This year, more than ever, we have a critical need to drive traffic to downtown's retailers and restaurants and to generate excitement about being in downtown for the holidays."

The sheds were delivered to the square on Wednesday and are a product of two downtown firms teaming up to make the holiday market possible.

"They are very simple structures designed for our market this year," explained Newman. "These pop up shops that are specifically designed to serve as lanterns during a very dark time of the year."

Vendors tell Newswatch 16 they are excited to display their items and decorate each shed for the holiday season.

"Well, I will tell you that we have been making candy skewers all morning. My fingers are actually throbbing," laughed Kathi Bankes, a soon-to-be vendor. 

"So we do candy skewers, we do all kinds of things like that, but we are really going to go all out with our decoration."

The market will feature 12 vendors in all and will be open for 15 consecutive days here in downtown Wilkes-Barre.

"We have everything from clothing to food gift items candles so it's really a nice assortment that you could come out and really anything that would be a great holiday gift again this is a super safe way to do your holiday shopping," said Lindsay Griffin with the Greater Wyoming Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Organizers say many of the vendors who will be filling these sheds are entrepreneurs looking to kick start their business ideas.

"Most of our businesses are businesses that would either attend these holiday craft shows or their businesses that are in fact, looking to open a location and this year obviously with its challenges. Didn't really present that opportunity so this is a way for them to still be able to sell and market their goods," added Griffin.

The market will open after a ribbon cutting on Small Business Saturday at 10:30am and be open until December 12th. 

Credit: wnep

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