Grass Valley Downtown Association considers changing market schedule |

Grass Valley Downtown Association considers changing market schedule

Thursday Night Market, a popular summer festivity in Grass Valley, which features a certified farmer’s market, crafts booths, food vendors, and free concert series, might undergo a schedule change next year.

Instead of falling on Thursdays, like it has for the last nine years, the event might take place on Friday nights, if its organizer gathers enough votes by business owners downtown.

Diane Raymond, executive director of Grass Valley Downtown Association, the nonprofit that coordinates the trademark community event, said the change is tentative and that she is still in discussion with member businesses.

“I’m having a conversation with a lot of our stake holders downtown,” said Raymond. “And trying to figure out what are the things that everybody feels that work about Thursday Night Market, and what are things that people like to see.”

Thursday Night Market, which has run from June 16 to Aug. 4, started in 1991 as a Friday Night Farmers’ Market in Nevada City.

The event came to Grass Valley in 1996 due to suggestions from merchants and the downtown association.

In 2006, the nonprofit switched the market to Thursdays, because the street fair has been so successful on Fridays that some businesses felt it draws too many people to downtown and actually kept patrons from spending money on businesses.

Raymond is considering the possibility of changing the schedule because feedback from stakeholders suggest the event would better serve merchants on Friday.

“We were trying to reach out and find out what works for events and what doesn’t work for events,” she said.

Raymond said she sent out a survey shortly after the organization’s Promotions Committee meeting, which took place on Oct. 14. But the possible schedule change has offered mixed reactions.

Anne Starr, owner of Sierra Starr, located at 124 W. Main St., said she prefers having the market on Friday, because it would bring more sales and people to the wine-tasting room arm of her business.

“It was huge when it was on Friday night,” said Starr. “When it moved to Thursday, it was not good for us as a business.”

Ashleigh Blais and Darian David, both employees at Foothill Flowers, at 102 W. Main St., however, had different opinions.

“I think that they should pin it on Thursday,” said Blais. “I feel like that you can’t enjoy it fully with all the people in town.”

“It’s an event for the community; it keeps the community tight,” said David, another employee at the store who voiced opposition to moving the market back to Friday.

Aj Barbaria, a worker at Millenium Smoke Shop, said he doesn’t lean toward either side but Friday nights would probably increase traffic.

“It doesn’t matter, but Friday nights make more sense because a business will theoretically get more sales,” said Barbaria, adding that people are more likely to spend time downtown on weekends when they don’t have to wake up early the next day.

The association won’t close the survey until early next year, Raymond said, because it really wants to get the “formula of Thursday Night Market right.”

She will also meet with heads of departments in the city and representatives from the police department before reaching a decision.

“There are a lot of pieces in making it work, and we want to make sure that we hear from all of those departments as well from the city to make sure we don’t miss anything,” Raymond said.

To contact Staff Writer Teresa Yinmeng Liu, please call 530-477-4236 or email

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