Downtown Market Fest hums despite deluge

With forecasts calling for thunderstorms on Friday, many people wondered whether the West Kootenay EcoSociety would have to take the unprecedented step of cancelling its annual street festival.

Friday's MarketFest was a great success.

Friday's MarketFest was a great success.

With forecasts calling for thunderstorms on Friday, many people wondered whether the West Kootenay EcoSociety would have to take the unprecedented step of cancelling its annual street festival.

“We had vendors calling us all day asking if it was going ahead,” said event manager Paul Hinrichs.

“We figured the people of the Kootenays wouldn’t let a little rain stand in their way of a good time, and the people didn’t let us down.”

With over 80 vendors and six bands on two stages, plus a children’s stage, the EcoSociety event occupied three blocks of the Nelson downtown. Despite two drenching rainstorms, hundreds of people came out to shop, have a bite to eat, and enjoy local and national performers.

“We are so grateful to have such a strong community of talent here in Nelson, and we were honored that Alseny Diallo and the Kikeyambay Afrobeat Orchestra joined our festival,” commented David Reid, the executive director of the EcoSociety.

“I think it says a lot about our community that our city and our businesses support this type of event.”

The West Kootenay EcoSociety organizes Market Fest on one Friday in June, July, and August as a fundraiser for its environmental and community building programs.

This year, the event series is sponsored by the Nelson District Credit Union, the Royal on Baker, Kootenay Co-op Radio, and the City of Nelson.

The next Market Fest will be on Friday, July 29 and will feature Montreal-based band Mr. Something Something.