186th DTES Street Market at Pigeon Park in Vancouver Downtown Eastside (DTES) on Sun Dec 29, 2013
Roland Clarke, Coordinator of the DTES Street Market says:
This was last market of the year. A momentous event considering that we have survived many attacks from many directions. This is was the fourth year of the Street Market at Pigeon Park and will not be the last. As we enter our fifth year, it is important to reflect on what we have achieved..
This was the 186th Market day at Pigeon Park on Sunday.
There is no other festival in the Downtown Eastside that can boast almost 200 event-days. This little street market is not only the heart of the Downtown Eastside, but possibly the largest historical event of in the Downtown Eastside for all time.
Lots of shops open
As I walked around the park in the morning, watching the vendors arrive and seeing the preparations of the RPICs, I couldn’t help noticing all the businesses that are now open around Pigeon Park. Nelson and Seagull was absolutely packed, standing room only. The Frock Thrift Shoppe was open and doing brisk business, and Rainier Provisions was open as well. If any of these businesses have issues with the Street Market on Sundays, their customers sure don’t.
I’ll take this time to remind people that when the Street Market started in 2010 NOT A SINGLE business surrounding Pigeon Park was open on Sundays. Now, almost all the businesses are open.
Last week, we purchased an awesome photovoltaic solar system for our office at 62 East Hastings. 2 175 Watt solar panels, fed into a MPPT charge controller, with a 150 Amp-hour battery going to a 3000 Watt inverter. Yay! Necessity is definitely the mother of invention. After waiting over a year for our power to be hooked up at the lot at 62 East Hastings, we are taking matters into our own hands and installing a completely zero waste solar energy solution for the Downtown Eastside. Hopefully, it will be up and running soon. We just need to get some wiring, and construct an intelligent mounting system that allows panels to change angle in the summer and winter.
Sometimes a particular item at the Street Market must make the news.
Today, we had someone selling two live lobsters. At the time, I was having a conversation with a reporter, and Jacek runs up to the tents and says “I just saw something that takes the cake – some guy is selling live lobsters”. An interesting problem for the volunteers because, if the lobsters were dead, this would be clearly banned from the market because they would need to be refrigerated. The fact that they were live posed an interesting problem. One of the volunteers said jokingly “what if they are pets?”. Jacek says “the guys selling them kind of looks like he might be a fisherman”. The RPIC at the time makes a quick decision that we would have to tell him to leave and sell his lobster elsewhere.
Luckily, before we could go and confront the man, the lobsters were already sold.