Beloved Portland Saturday Market In Need of Community Support to Get its Groove Back



Beloved Portland Saturday Market In Need of Community Support to Get its Groove Back

With hopes of raising $150,000, the Portland Saturday Market has launched its first Go Fund Me Campaign, encouraging Oregonians to “Back the Market” as it readies to reopen for its 48th season Saturday, April 17. The nonprofit, the country’s largest continuously operating outdoor market and one of Portland’s top tourist destinations, is hoping to secure its financial footing as it works to send a signal that downtown Portland is back, bringing its vibrant energy to the struggling downtown core.

“Saturday Market is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city of Portland, drawing up to 1 million people and, in a normal year, annual sales of $12 million,” says Executive Director of the Portland Saturday Market, Howie Bierbaum. “Something with this much heart and personality, that’s also an economic driver for our city and key to its revival, deserves to thrive. For the first time we’re asking for a little support, calling on all of the people who have fond memories and experiences with us to chip in what they can and help make sure we’re here long into the future.”

Long-time market favorites Commonscents Soap and Out of the Closet Tie Dye, is well as popular food carts Original Elephant Ears and Angelina’s Greek Gyros are eager to welcome shoppers and eaters back to the market, nestled between Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the historic Skidmore Fountain, with a convenient MAX stop steps away. While only half of the typical 250 vendors can return this season due to safety precautions, every item sold is still made by the person selling it, from handmade art, crafts and jewelry. Market vendors and staff are required to wear face coverings, hand sanitizer is readily available and visitors are strongly encouraged to wear a mask. All booths are socially distanced for enhanced safety.

“Travel Portland is thrilled for Saturday Market to starts its 48th season,” says Billie Moser, Vice President of International Affairs and Community Engagement. “The beloved outdoor market is iconic to visitors and locals alike for its welcoming and talented community of makers. It’s return is a signal of Portland’s reawakening and we’re energized to welcome visitors back to the city. Saturday Market continues to be one of Portland’s must-visit attractions.”

To maintain COVID-19 safety precautions, the Portland Saturday Market was forced to dramatically reduce its vendor capacity, and ultimately closed early last season. Add the state wildfires and the market’s operations dropped more than 75 percent from a typical year, creating a deficit and uncertain future. While it was ultimately able to avoid the threat of permanent closure and can reopen thanks to federal funds, community support will help ensure its survival. It’s hopeful Oregonians who’ve grown up with the market will support its “Back the Market” campaign that will guarantee its success in 2021 and beyond.

About Portland Saturday Market

Portland Saturday Market first opened in 1974 in downtown Portland, Ore.’s Old Town neighborhood. Today, it is nationally recognized as the largest continuously operating open-air arts and crafts market in the country. The mission of the Portland Saturday Market is to provide an environment that encourages the economic and artistic growth of emerging and accomplished artisans, and is proud to provide a marketplace for small businesses creating locally handmade arts, crafts and foods from the Pacific Northwest.