Luke Metcalfe sets up his record shop at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Luke Metcalfe sets up his record shop at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Thanksgiving weekend tradition returns

Public Market is open at Centennial Hall

The annual Juneau Public Market, a much-loved local institution, is back this weekend after COVID-19 forced the market to go virtual for a year.

On Friday morning, vendors were busy putting the final touches on their booths. Organizer Peter Metcalfe rushed from place to place, delivering ladders to vendors, helping people connect to Wi-Fi, and reuniting with people he missed during last year’s break.

“A one-year lapse is kind of a big deal,” Metcalfe said.

This marks the 39th year for the Public Market. Its return comes with a mitigation plan approved by the City and Borough of Juneau Emergency Operations Center. Public Market personnel are checking vaccine cards at the door and masks are required for entry. However, beyond standard fire regulations, no capacity limits are in place.

Metcalfe said about 30 vendors dropped out in the final weeks leading up to the market — some because of the market’s vaccination requirements and some over nerves about being inside with a crowd for three days.

As a result, the market is consolidated into Centennial Hall rather than spread out across Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center.

Betty Bell and Peter Metcalfe, longtime Juneau Public Market organizer, chat Friday before the market opened. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Betty Bell and Peter Metcalfe, longtime Juneau Public Market organizer, chat Friday before the market opened. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

[Public market returns with mitigation measures in place]

“Setting up used to be like musical chairs,” Metcalfe said. “This year it was more like a puzzle.”

The labor shortages plaguing other businesses also hit Public Market. Metcalfe said he could only find four people to help set up rather than the usual six.

“We were nailing in the last booth panel as the vendors started to arrive Wednesday,” he said. “But it all worked out in the end, it’s always good.”

Luke Metcalfe sets up his record shop at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Luke Metcalfe sets up his record shop at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Gifts, food and shots

This year Public Market features more than 100 vendors from throughout the state and the West Coast.

Shoppers can peruse a wide range of hand-made goods ranging from pottery to bespoke fishing poles, locally forged knives and interesting jewelry. Clothes, stationery, pet products and a variety of other items suitable for gifting are available. A food court is open for those feeling peckish. Vendors are selling specialty foods to take home. Artists often work their booths and are available to answer questions and chat.

[Mall together now]

Nell McConahey, of Spiral Studio, said the market is one of the busiest sales of the year for her. She said she’s been coming to the market as a vendor for 21 years.

“It feels good to be back,” McConahey said.

Rebecca Paulson, a longtime vendor who sells handmade stationery, praised the “good vibes” at the market and said she hoped for a big crowd.

“It feels nice. You feel so grateful for little things like this and the relationships,” Paulson said.

Shoppers in need of a COVID-19 vaccine booster can get one from Capstone Clinic in the central area of Centennial Hall. A curtain is available for privacy.

“That’s a brilliant way to get people in,” said Mark Kelley of Mark Kelley Photography.

Mark Kelley, of Mark Kelley Photography, prepares for customers at the Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)

Mark Kelley, of Mark Kelley Photography, prepares for customers at the Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26. (Dana Zigmund/Juneau Empire)

Know & Go

What: Juneau Public Market

When: Vendors are open for business 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. today.

Where: Centennial Hall, 101 Egan Drive.

Admission: Weekend admission to Centennial Hall is $7.50 per person, according to the site.

• Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com 907-308-4891.

Jon Lyman sells bespoke fishing polls at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

Jon Lyman sells bespoke fishing polls at Juneau Public Market on Friday, Nov. 26, 2021. (Dana Zigmund / Juneau Empire)

More in News

The Aurora Borealis glows over the Mendenhall Glacier in 2014. (Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Aurora forecast

Forecasts from the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute for the week of Dec. 3

Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire 
Teachers and school board members talk during the Juneau Board of Education and Juneau Education Association’s annual meet and greet in mid November. JEA contract negotiation team declared impasse last Friday and are in the process of filing for federal mediation.
Juneau teachers union declares impasse amid drawn-out negotiations

Still, the teachers union and district express optimism about working toward agreement.

This photo shows an Alaska State Trooper patrol vehicle (Juneau Empire File)
Troopers: Man killed raven, consumed its tongue

No arrests or citations made at this time, but investigation is underway.

Gavel (Courtesy photo)
Man sentenced to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to sex abuse of a minor

DNA and sex offender registration required as part of sentence.

t
Writers’ Weir: A window into the sea

A nonfiction story by Rodger Painter.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire File)
Police calls for Thursday, Dec. 8

This report contains information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Kéet and Oscar wait patiently to play on the beach in winter in Wrangell. (Vivian Faith Prescott / For the Capital City Weekly)
Planet Alaska: Winter words

Phrases and words to use to create a Lingít language immersion outing in the winter.

Most Read