Lacey Community Market will not take place this summer at Huntamer Park after city staff, with input from city council members last week, decided to suspend the event for a year.
Community liaison Mary Coppin said the city will use that time to evaluate the market, including the location and schedule.
Huntamer Park at Woodland Square Loop has been home to either a farmers market or the community market for several years.
The farmers market didn’t take off because it never attracted enough vendors to become an officially sanctioned farmers market, Coppin said.
That effort eventually evolved into the community market, similar to a flea market, that for the past seven years has taken place on the second Saturday of the month in July, August and September at Huntamer Park.
But like the farmers market, the community market hasn’t really taken off either, she said.
Another reason they decided to suspend the market this year is that one of the Saturdays falls on the same day of the Lacey South Sound Chamber of Commerce BBQ festival.
Coppin identified some of the market challenges to date:
-Attendance has remained flat at about 1,500 people per Saturday and the number of vendors has fluctuated between 75 and 90.
-The event still hasn’t become self-sustaining, generating about $6,000; the city spends about $35,000.
-Huntamer Park is surrounded by office buildings, so it isn’t exposed to a lot of spur-of-the moment traffic decisions, and the community market schedule was hard to communicate to the public.
Still, the city remains committed to the market in the future, she said.
“I think it’s still an important objective for the council,” Coppin said.
Sharon Kagy, the manager of the market for the past seven years but who had decided not to apply for the manager position this year, said she had mixed feelings about the city’s decision.
“There’s definitely going to be a sense of loss once everyone hears about it,” she said.