Falmouth mayor hails Grand MarketThursday, December 29, 2011
BY HORACE HINES Observer West reporter
FALMOUTH, Trelawny — MAYOR of Falmouth Colin Gager says this year's staging of Falmouth Grand Market held in Water Square, the town's centre, was a tremendous success.
"It was very successful... one of the best years we ever had. It was well put together and the people (vendors) made money," Gager said of the gigantic flee market.
The event was conceptualised by Gager in 2007, the same year he assumed the post of mayor.
In an interview with the Observer West, Gager expressed a strong desire for his vision to be prolonged, even after he departs office.
"We started when I became mayor in December 2007 and this is one of the legacies I want to leave when I demit office. I would like this to be an ongoing Trelawny thing, because if this was not going on, the people would have to go to Brown's Town in St Ann or Montego Bay, St James for Grand Market," Gager argued.
On Christmas Eve up until the wee hours of Christmas morning, Water Square was transformed into a carnival-like atmosphere, as music selected from several genres blasted from sound systems strategically placed around Water Square, where vendors paraded their wares on stalls in the full view of a large number of shoppers.
A number of vendors from all over the island, including some who customarily peddle their goods in the Falmouth 'Bend Down' Market on Wednesdays, participated in the Grand Market.
Sydney Hudson, a vendor from Duncans, Trelawny, concurred with Mayor Gager that this year's staging of the event was the best ever.
"Mi mek good money man," he told the Observer West, praising the mayor for conceptualising the event.
Gager, who is also chairman of the Trelawny Parish Council, disclosed that store operators were also encouraged to display their goods in front of their business places during the Grand Market.
He noted that the vendors in Water Square — the scene of food courts, items of clothing, toys and other harberdashery — were charged a nominal fee.
He was quick to note, however, that the activity was designed to capture community spirit and not to generate revenue for the council's coffers.
"This isn't a fund-raising exercise for the council. Sometimes we end up making a profit and sometimes we don't. It is really a way of igniting the community spirit. As a local authority, we can't continue to just make money and don't give back to the community," he explained.
He was also full of praise for the contribution to the organisation of the event by chairman of the civic affairs committee, Fernandez 'Bingy' Smith, who is also the JLP councillor for the Sherwood Content Division.
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