Take a fine summer evening, combine it with 150 vendors and hundreds of local residents and visitors and you have, in essence, Parksville’s Summer by the Sea Market, also known locally as the Craig Street Market.
The Summer by the Sea Market has become a fixture in the Oceanside area over the past decade, drawing patrons of all ages to enjoy the carnival atmosphere that offers, truly, something for everyone. Vendors from all over the Island and the Gulf Islands gather to set up their booths each Tuesday evening from mid-June to the end of August, and between 6 and 9 p.m. folks flock to the area that now encompasses several blocks.
The Summer by the Sea market is most definitely not what anyone would call a farmers market, although there is some fresh produce and other traditional farmers market-style offerings available. What it is, though, is a fun, inexpensive evening out for folks of all ages. Families with little ones in strollers mingle with youngsters, teenagers, adults – even the wheelchair-bound. This is one of those ‘everyone and their dog’ events, and that’s half the charm of it. If you don’t feel like cooking dinner you can enjoy anything from traditional Texas barbeque to vegan offerings from the food vendors (and top it off with one of the most decadent cupcakes you will ever experience from Coastal Cake Company!).
In addition to a raft of craft booths selling everything from jewellery to home décor visitors to the market will find at least a couple of opportunities for a massage, a great variety of toys, clothing and accessories geared to the younger set, holistic counselling, up-cycled vintage finds, beautiful hand-made clothing….and Tupperware! If you feel so inclined you can just hang out and enjoy the live music. Or you can pan for gold courtesy of an innovative entrepreneur who sells bags of gravel from the Yukon that are guaranteed to have gold in them. There isn’t much that this fun-centred market doesn’t offer – it’s a great way to while away a lovely evening, enjoy the hundreds of eclectic offerings and share some time with family or friends.
The Summer by the Sea Market is organized and run by the Parksville and District Chamber of Commerce. Further information on the market can be found at the Chamber’s website:
The Summer by the Sea Market is located in downtown Parksville, at the foot of Craig Street where it joins Highway 19A (or the Old Island Highway, as it is locally known)
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