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Container Village Organizers Reflect On First Season

By Brad Perry Nov 24, 2022 | 1:00 PM

Organizers behind the Area 506 Waterfront Container Village say the first season was a success.

Around 40 vendors set up shop in the Village, which is made from more than 50 shipping containers.

Ray Gracewood, the founder of Area 506, said the huge undertaking was a couple of years in the making.

“It’s really a testament to how much a small group of people can accomplish over a relatively short time frame,” Gracewood said in a recent interview.

Of the vendors that called the Village home for the summer, three have gone on to open permanent locations and another is opening a second location.

Gracewood estimates that “definitely tens, if not hundreds of thousands” of people experienced the Village and all it had to offer.

That includes residents from the Saint John region and those who were visiting the area, including cruise ship passengers.

“Not only were local residents really, really interested in repeatedly coming back and visiting, but it quickly became a destination or a reason for people to visit the city of Saint John,” he said.

RELATED: Saint John Container Village Jumpstarts Big Moves For Local Small Businesses

Organizers heard two common pieces of feedback from people: they felt like the Village had always been there, and they could not wait to come back and visit.

To Gracewood, that means the Village is a natural fit to the uptown waterfront and is comforting to those who visit it.

“It was great to hear that and I think there’s a sense of energy that it’s brought to the uptown,” he said.

Village organizers have spent the last few weeks in deep planning to prepare for next year’s season.

Gracewood did not want to give too much away but said he is very optimistic about what the event plan looks like.

“I think we’ve got some really new and unique ideas that we can’t wait to roll out starting in the spring,” he said.

The Village is scheduled to reopen around the Victoria Day long weekend in May and will likely stay open until the last cruise ship visits in early November.


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