Night Market debuts Thursday at Harbor District Market

Published 7:31 pm Wednesday, January 29, 2020

A new monthly happening at the Washington Harbor District Market launches Thursday night as the downtown community space hosts its inaugural Night Market, staying open until 8 p.m.

“We wanted an opportunity for people who might be working and don’t have a chance to come out to the market to come down and have a fun time to get family and friends together,” said Washington Harbor District Alliance Executive Director Meg Howdy.

In addition to all the familiar vendors of the Market, the evening will also offer live music from local teen rock band Bright Ideas. Moving forward, the Night Market will be held on the last Thursday of every month, featuring live music and the occasional DJ.

Since opening its doors seven months ago, Howdy says the Harbor District Market has seen a good deal of success, expanding its offerings and solidifying as a community space for Washington.

“We’ve now been open a little over seven months,” Howdy said. “On Saturdays, we’re averaging 952 people over the seven months.”

For the vendors who have been with the Market from the beginning, the holiday season brought good business.

“Some our artists are having to really work hard to produce more work to get back to the Market, which is a really cool problem to have,” Howdy said. “It’s been a little bit quiet in January, but we’re really looking forward to continued growth.”

In addition to new farmers and vendors coming into the Market this spring, Howdy anticipates expanding programming offerings in 2020.

In February, the Market will two workshops, a wine cork monogram session with Leilani Nichols on Feb. 20 and a hand lettering class with Lizzy Hall on Feb. 22. Likewise, classes in partnership with the Beaufort County Community College Small Business Center will offer resources for both those looking to start or grow a food business and local crafters seeking to build their business.

Another new addition at the Market is a space dedicated for local nonprofits to come and share their mission with the public once a month. For groups that make crafts or other products, like the North Carolina Blind Center, that space can be used to sell items as well.

Looking to the future, Howdy says the WHDA is pursuing grant opportunities to add a demonstration kitchen downstairs and eventually a certified kitchen upstairs. While the former will be used for teaching, the upstairs space can be used to create value-added products like jams, jellies and sauces. Other plans for the upstairs include classroom and meeting spaces.

In the long term, Howdy says she hopes to continue building on partnerships with Beaufort County Community College, the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and Vidant Wellness to create new opportunities for local residents.

Regular hours of the Harbor District Market are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. To learn more about the Harbor District Market, visit