SANTA BARBARA, Calif. — A new tradition is taking place, as the State Street Promenade Market was introduced to Santa Barbara on Thursday evening.
The new market highlights downtown businesses and local artisans while utilizing the newly created promenade.
With brick and mortar stores dealing with difficulties throughout the pandemic, the Downtown Santa Barbara Organization and City of Santa Barbara hoped to help out.
“The idea is to let these local artisans, local vendors and makers have the opportunity to sell their products,” State Street Promenade market coordinator Amy Gudino said. “Bring locals out to be able to support their local vendors as well.”
Shopping season is about to get going and the market allows for customers to safely buy gifts within an open outdoor space.
“COVID-19 kind of allowed allowed me to really take time and amp up my inventory,” one vendor Danica Turner said. “This seemed like the perfect opportunity to show it.”
Despite the recent success of restaurants on State Street, retail shops have struggled in comparison.
However, the city hopes that the new market bolsters business this holiday season.
“Not only are we bringing back that festive holiday spirit of shopping and buying gifts for your loved ones but we’re also bringing back the idea of community,” Gudeino said.
“To be honest, the in-store shopping is very not happening right now,” Salty Brothers Soap Company owner William Smariga said. “Having the outside stands and doing the market really helps a lot.
Businesses located on the streets of the market — 1000 block and 900 block of State Street — are able to participate for free.
“We’re inviting those business to have this extra opportunity to highlight their business on the street,” Downtown Santa Barbara interim executive director Robin Elander said.
“It’s actually very beneficial for me to come out here,” Smariga said. “Spread the word about my business.”
This year DSB cancelled its’ annual holiday parade in December and is unable to host regular 1st Thursday events due to COVID-19.
Yet, the organization was able to usher in the winter festivities with new downtown lightning on Thursday night.
“It’s a great time to come out,” Elander concluded. “Escape the election madness right now and enjoy downtown.”
The Promenade Market is located on the 1000 block of State Street between Carrillo and Figueroa streets and may expand to additional blocks over time.
Vendors can still signup for a spot in the market by clicking here.