Salisbury Council Backs Arts, Crafts Market Plan

SALISBURY – A new weekly activity is scheduled to begin in the downtown area of Salisbury as the city agrees to support a new Arts and Crafts Market established by the Arts and Entertainment District and Chamber of Commerce.

In early April, Salisbury Arts and Entertainment District Chair Raymond A. Vorus submitted a letter, supported by the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce, to the city requesting support to establish the Riverside Arts & Crafts Market in response to desires to bring activities to the western end of downtown and to support existing businesses and create more visibility in the area.

Vorus proposed that the market take place year-round on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All items for sale must be original and produced by the vendors themselves. The goal is to offer economic opportunities for regional Eastern Shore entrepreneurs. As an incentive to participate there will be no charge for vendors in the first year.

He added that the Arts and Crafts Market will complement the long-running Park & Flea Market that operates on the opposite end of the district on Saturdays and Sundays.

The market was proposed to be set up in the unused parking lot next to Brew River restaurant on the east side between West Main Street and the Wicomico River. The benefits in having the market operate in the area are that it easily connects to the Historic Downtown and the Salisbury marina, as well as a number of downtown businesses and restaurants.

On Monday, evening representatives from the Arts and Entertainment District and Chamber of Commerce were present as a resolution came across the City Council to authorize Mayor James Ireton to sign a lease with the Chamber of Commerce for the Arts and Crafts Market.

“This is a project that we are very excited about,” City Administrator John Pick said. “Basically we would be allowing the Arts and Entertainment District and Chamber of Commerce to conduct an Arts and Crafts Market in Parking Lot #33 beginning on Saturdays, and extending the lease if it proves to be successful.”

Council President Terry Cohen said the council has embraced the market enthusiastically since it was introduced. There was a question on how it would affect the Park & Flea but there is a distinction between the two.

Councilwoman Laura Mitchell agreed the market would not create any competition for the Park & Flea.

“I think it is a great augmentation,” she said. “It hook ends the town together to get people going through, maybe even people walking through downtown to get from one to the other. I think it is fantastic and I can’t wait for the first Saturday.”

The council voted unanimously to allow the mayor to sign a lease allowing the market to operate in the parking lot next to Brew River on Saturdays.