The City Hall Market Fair received a welcome from the public as sunny as the weather on Saturday.
The outdoor market held on the steps of city hall, sponsored by the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society and Welcome PG, featured food, music, face painting, dancers and booths from approximately 40 local vendors.
Welcome PG project coordinator Romana Pasca said the majority of the vendors were small or home-based business owners who were looking for a place to promote their products and services. Unlike the Prince George Farmer's Market, the Market Fair allowed vendors who sell goods not grown, raised or produced locally.
"It's just the first event," Pasca said. "If we have a good response we'll start again next May, going once a month or biweekly. We'd like as many [people] as possible."
Attendance at the fair was strong, with hundreds enjoying the food and entertainment, and browsing the market.
"I've been amazed at the turnout," Mark Hinchcliff of the Prince George Woodturners Guild said. "It's hard to know what's going to sell at any given craft fair, and we're working on that. But it's just one more venue we can show our work."
Residents Rochelle Garden and Jaime Sims brought their family down for the afternoon to enjoy the fair.
"It's a nice day," Sims said. "We knew about the market and thought we'd come check it out."
It was the first time they'd come downtown and spent any time around city hall, Garden added.
Local singer, songwriter Erin Stewart was one of several live performers during the fair.
"I think it's awesome they hired musicians to perform. They're supporting the local arts community," Stewart said.
She and husband Jeremy Stewart, also a local musician, also hosted a booth to promote and sell their music.
"It's supporting musicianship as a potential business as well," she said.
Katrina Ludwig said she enjoyed the variety of products available at the fair.
"I think it's fun and about time we had something to occupy our Saturdays," Ludwig said.
Kamloops resident Duwayne Cadwell said he was in Prince George visiting for the weekend and enjoyed the fair.
"They do a farmer's market every Saturday in Kamloops," he said. "If something like this continues, it's awesome."
Vendor Lois Westlake of Grandma's Goodies said she's a regular at the Prince George Farmer's Market, and hosted a booth in both events Saturday to show her support for the City Hall Market Fair.
"I think they can both coexist," she said.
Vendors across the street at the Prince George's Farmers' Market's indoor/outdoor location were also pleased with the event.
"We've had an especially good day. I think [the Market Fair] had something to do with it," Judith's Country Kitchen owner Judith Wochnitz said. "It's definitely brought the people out."
By 11:30 a.m., Roman Muntener of Red Rooster Bakery had almost empty shelves.
"It has generated more traffic," Muntener said. "It's a good thing for downtown in general. It's a different type of market, too."