The “Open Air Market” on Main Street in Damariscotta will be piloted in June, beginning Saturday, June 13. The idea, which is being done in several other Maine communities, is to have locals and members of surrounding communities enjoy being outdoors, shopping and eating, while following social distancing guidelines. The intent is to help give a boost to the local business community, and to bring people out in the fresh air.
While Main Street would remain open, the on-street parking spaces, beginning at Attic Heirloom on the east side of Main Street, would be barricaded off for safety reasons, allowing merchants and restaurants to safely create an outside kiosk in front of their operation in the parking space, allowing shoppers to spread out, enjoy being outdoors shopping, eating at local restaurants or taking out food to enjoy at a picnic table onsite or down by the riverfront. The west side of Main Street parking would remain open to allow plenty of parking for local restaurants and retail stores.
Mark Hagar has graciously donated the barricades, which will be set up the morning of the market to ensure no cars park in the designated spots. The “Open Air Market” will open at 11 a.m. and close promptly at 4 p.m. to ensure all Main Street parking is open for evening restaurant dining and take out.
Each business interested in participating, will be responsible for creating their own outside kiosk, tent or table, which can be as simple or as festive as they want to make it. The businesses in the “Open Air Market” will provide additional trash cans and hand sanitizer in their area. Face masks are recommended and strongly encouraged.
“Cupacity is so excited to offer outside seating and reconnect with the local customers we have missed,” said Susan Murphy, owner of Cupacity.
The Rotary Club of Damariscotta-Newcastle has volunteered to be in the area to support local merchants and to ensure everything runs smoothly.
Any business that does not have a Main Street business location but is located in a back-parking area or alleyway on Main and would like to participate, can reach out to the Damariscotta Region Chamber at 207-563-8340. Only town brick & mortar stores are invited to participate as the support is intended for our local merchants and restaurants.