By Katrina King
Vendors at Bridgetown market are hoping that sales will pick over the next two days after a slow start on the opening day on Saturday.
The annual street market held along the Mighty Grynner Highway opened at 10 a.m. yesterday, but vendors say that patrons only started to flood the streets after 5 p.m.
Held under the theme Is We Way, Bridgtown Market features local delicacies as well as arts and crafts and entertainment.
At Trader’s Way, Sanchia Harewood of Essade Design expressed disappointment at the attendance.
“It isn’t as full as it usually is. I don’t know if it is going to pick up on Sunday and Monday but usually, Saturdays you see a little more traffic,” Harewood told Barbados TODAY.
“People come out later in the evening but they are not coming to shop. They are just looking to pass through and see what is going on and take in the entertainment and that is basically it. In terms of the shopping aspect of it, it isn’t as much as it was in previous years,” she added
Harewood also noted that a few tourists were present at the cultural market and suggested that more promotion should be done at the ports of entry to entice them to partake in Bridgetown Market festivities.
Craftswoman Priscilla Mathurin of Caribbean Craft and Jewelry has participated in Bridgetown Market for nearly 25 years and she described Saturday’s turn out as “disappointing”.
“I remember years ago at 10 a.m. it used to be thousands of tourists around. I am very disappointed that it is like this now but I don’t know how we can correct it. I think the Government is doing its best. It is not even attracting enough locals, if you look at it, people are coming in the night for food and drinks. . . . now, you get the little crowd in the evening when it is closing time,” she said.
Rashida Leacock of Illentrah Natural Soaps and Skincare based in the 100 per cent Bajan to De Bone Craft Village, is also anxious for an increase in traffic and sales on the Sunday and Monday.
“People are coming this far to the Flour Mill but they are just walking on the outskirts and not venturing inside,” Leacock pointed out.
Another vendor in the craft village also told Barbados TODAY, that the craft village should have been more attractive.|
The vendor who spoke on condition of anonymity, applauded the National Cultural Foundation, for abiding by the request of crafts folk to move the village from the Traders Way at Courts Pasture to the Flour Mill. The vendor, however, lamented that the late set up of the craft village was an inconvenience.
“It is not a bad venue or area for the chattel houses in comparison to where they were before, especially if the rain had to fall. However, I think it could have been done directly or better because it was not finished until the same day. You had situations where you could not set up the stall the time you wanted to because you had to wait until the painting was finished so if they actually had the vendors in mind a little bit more then it would work,” the vendor said.