What can be lovelier on a soft summer evening than a relaxed outdoor market in a beautiful setting, topped up with live music and talented vendors? There isn’t much that tops an experience like that, and we recently enjoyed such an affair at the Qualicum Beach Uptown Summer Market.
Organized by the Qualicum Beach Downtown Business Association, the evening market runs every Thursday during July and August from 6-9 p.m. A long block of Second Avenue (the main shopping area in Qualicum Beach) is closed to vehicular traffic and vendors set up their tents offering a wide variety of beautiful and intriguing offerings.
We spent a happy hour wandering up the street enjoying the very relaxed ambiance – a big change from the busier and more frenetic farmers markets and other street markets held throughout the Oceanside area. There was plenty of time and space to peruse goods and chat with vendors, who hail from as far away as Campbell River.
The added bonus to the evening was a very cool jazz duo, perched in front of one of the original charming Qualicum Beach homes. Mellifluous tunes emanated on to the street and convinced us to sit awhile and simply enjoy. One couple was inspired enough by the music to share a dance in the middle of everything.
You won’t find a lot of produce at this market, but for those in search of food there is a food truck serving up yummy samosas and Mirella Trozzo’s very excellent Italian baking is featured at the Biscotti de Notte tent.
What visitors to the Uptown Summer Market will find is a multiplicity of beautiful hand-crafted items that could well get your Christmas shopping started early. Cozy slippers, beautiful windchimes, garden décor, mouth-watering baking. And for those needing a little relaxation, three masseuse vendors ply their trade. Several of the local businesses remain open late as well.
While the Uptown Summer Market was originally designed to draw summer visitors to the downtown core in the evening it is also drawing locals. We ran in to some neighbours as we strolled along the street, and noted that quite a few of the attendees were recognizable local faces. Regardless of your residency or lack of same, however, be prepared for a delightful evening that offers the quintessential Qualicum Beach essence of summer. It doesn’t get any sweeter than this.
The Qualicum Beach Uptown Summer Market runs up Second Avenue from Memorial Avenue to Primrose Street, every Thursday evening in July and August .
GPS co-ordinates are:
Lat. 49.347099 Long. -124.441742
N 49 20.826 W 124 26.505