Sunday, December 23, 2007

Portland Saturday Market

Masks on display at Portland Saturday Market.

Portland Saturday Market (which is open on Sundays as well) is located around the Skidmore Fountain area in the Old Town section of Portland. The prime space for craft vendors is under the Burnside Street Bridge. The craft area, for handmade items only, extends from under the bridge along the back side of the Skidmore Building and into the plaza area near the fountain. There's an area outside the Skidmore Building by the fountain for street performers, and a main stage for two featured acts on Saturday and Sunday. Food vendors are located around the main stage and a large open-sided tent protects tables and chairs from rain or sun.

Across the street from the fountain is a parking lot used for other vendors to sell stuff other than handmade crafts and another stage, with more food vendors near the stage. The street, First Avenue, isn't used by cars in the area near the market. The MAX light rail line runs down it, dividing the two vendor areas, and there's a stop under the bridge.

Saturday Market runs every weekend from the first weekend in March up through Christmas. During the last week before Christmas is the time for the Festival of the Last Minute, when vendors are at the market every day.

The area is usually full of people on weekends unless it's really raining more than usual or if it's a hot day in summer. It's not a place to expect bargains, but since the market may be a major source of income for some of the vendors, that's OK.

Tomorrow, Monday, is the last day Saturday Market will be open until the first weekend in March. I usually look forward to the first day it's open again. It's still cool and rainy then, but Saturday Market provides a little brightness.

Here's a link to the home page of Portland Saturday Market.

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