Downtown Amherst to be party central this weekend

Darrell Cole
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Artisans Market returns as does Downtown Street Party

Downtown Amherst is going to be a busy place this weekend with the second annual Downtown Street Party on Friday and the Artisans Market on Saturday.

Matt Cormier and Stephanie Moreau look over plans for the third Downtown Aristans Market set for Saturday on Victoria and Church streets. It’s part of big weekend that also includes the second annual Downtown Street Party on Friday.

AMHERST – Downtown Amherst is ready to party this weekend.

For the third time this year, downtown merchants are hosting an artisans market on Saturday that will this year coincide with the second Downtown Street Party set for Friday.

“The first two markets were such a success that it made sense to hold another one the same weekend as the street party,” Matt Cormier from Dayle’s Department Store said Monday. “We have found that the artisans’ market has been successful for downtown businesses in that they bring more traffic to the area and it’s good for the artisans in that it provides a great venue for them to showcase their talents.”

The market runs 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Victoria Street and will follow pretty much the same format as the previous two that were held in June and July. The only difference this time is there is no entertainment in Victoria Square.

Stephanie Moreau of Flo Lifestyle Boutique said the feedback from the previous two markets was very positive in the number of people who shopping downtown on a day when things are generally quieter.

“We heard a lot of merchants saying their Saturdays were busy during the artisans market,” Moreau said.

The first time the market was held, Moreau figured things would be busy in the morning before quieting down in the afternoon. Instead, she found traffic to be heavy throughout the day with some stores saying they were still busy later in the day after the market had wrapped up.

Numerous downtown stores will have entertainment either inside or out front of their locations while a number of vendors are also confirmed for the day. There will also be buskers and other attractions.

The artisans’ market will come a day after the street party that kicks off Friday at 11 a.m. and continues through the late hours of the night with festivities in Victoria Square.

Tamara Porter of Dayle’s Department Store and Michelle LeBlanc of the McCully Market and Things are organizing the street party as members of the Downtown Business Advisory Committee.

Highlights of the street party include the return of the Kids Zone, this time on Victoria Street, with inflatables, horse rides, wagon rides, the 4-H woodsmen competition, face painting, street hockey with the ARHS Vikings, the Shriners’ clowns and balloon animals.

Entertainment in the square includes Harry Haynes, Michelle LeBlanc and Friends, Mike Blakeney, Tony and Susan Robichaud, Taken By Surprise, Lenny Crash and the Restoration, DC Smith & The Streamliners and Old School.

Twitter: @ADNdarrell

Organizations: Downtown Street Party, McCully Market, Downtown Business Advisory Committee Kids Zone Shriners

Geographic location: AMHERST, Victoria Street, Victoria Square

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