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Posted: Thursday 23 December, 2021 at 11:54 AM

Christmas Night Market a success

By: Staff Reporter,

    Plans afoot to extend Basseterre Market opening hours


    BASSETERRE, St. Kitts - LAST evening’s (Dec. 22) Christmas Night Market was deemed a success by officials at the Ministry of Agriculture, raising the question of whether the Government would consider extending the opening hours for the Basseterre Market.


    Hundreds flowed through the Basseterre Market, snapping up their last minute vegetables before the Christmas celebrations, as the festivity was felt in the facility where the Governor General, Sir S. W. Tapley Seaton, had graced with his presence.


    Ron Collins, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Agriculture, acknowledged the large turnout, pointing out that the initiative “has been a tremendous success” as they had seen increased participation of vendors and support from the general public.


    Asked about the possibility of extending the hours of the market following the success, Collins acknowledged that the evening hours are more convenient for the people, noting that they are looking for legislative support to make it happen.


    “To me, the market is more convenient, not only in terms of hours but in terms of accessibility, and in terms of what is being offered here in terms of the pricing...We know that we have always been challenged with one serious area here, and that is parking. But we are trying to find creative ways that we can overcome that,” note Collins.


    The goal, the PS revealed, is to make the idea and vision of night market a reality of operating on a daily basis.


    Minister of Agriculture, Alexis Jeffers commended the turnout for the market, but noted that it might not be a regular occurrence just yet, as a number of initiatives and planning must be sorted before it becomes a reality.


    “There are competing activities and you don’t want to have this too often…Once you have it at different times throughout the year - let us say for time - there will be the anticipation and people would want to come,” he noted.


    Last evening’s market was one of four held through the various quarters of this year, and Collins revealed that the Ministry has received positive feedback from both the vendors and members of the public who continue to turnout in their numbers.


    Both PS Collins and Minister Jeffers confirmed that there have been calls for the Ministry to increase the frequency in which the event is being held to accommodate those workers who might leave work after the market is closed.


    But they both conceded that they would maintain the quarterly occurrence of the Night Market.


    “At this time, we will maintain the quarterly event for now; but we are  doing a number of things to beef-up the promotions at the market,” noted Collins.


    The Government has long been seeking avenues to drive more traffic at the Basseterre Market after many vendors took to the streets plying their trade. 


    That prompted the Government’s coming out of the latest lockdowns this year to stop all roadside vending and asking all to vendors to return to the market.


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