Juneau Public Market is back and in person this year

Kayla Simpson, Miguel Cordero and Mary Landes, members of Juneau Teens for Change sell treats and homemade goods at the 2017 Public Market. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)
Kayla Simpson, Miguel Cordero and Mary Landes, members of Juneau Teens for Change sell treats and homemade goods at the 2017 Public Market. (Photo by Adelyn Baxter/KTOO)

Juneau Public Market is back. This year, the event is being held in person Nov. 26–28 at Centennial Hall and the Juneau Arts and Culture Center. 

It’s one of the biggest events of the year, where people get their Christmas presents and support artists from throughout the state. About 140 vendors from across Alaska and the West Coast are currently signed up.

Last year, the market was online only and about 35 vendors participated. 

Peter Metcalfe, the organizer of Juneau Public Market, started planning for an in-person public market earlier this year before the delta surge. When city officials moved Juneau’s risk level to high, he needed to adjust the event to meet the city’s mitigation strategies, which say that indoor events can have a maximum of 20 people, unless everyone is fully vaccinated. 

So in order to hold the event in person, everyone is required to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. There are no exceptions to the vaccination requirement. 

That means children 11 or younger who are currently ineligible for the vaccine wouldn’t be able to go. An FDA panel recently recommended the Pfizer vaccine for children ages 5-11, but it is not authorized yet. And even if it is authorized next week, those children wouldn’t be able to be fully vaccinated before the event.

People can only take their masks off when they are eating in the food court and they will have to be socially distanced. 

“This is nothing we’ve chosen to do,” Metcalfe said. “However, we are dedicated to public health and we would not hold this event if we thought it could be a, you know, mass spreading event of any sort.”

To prove vaccination status, people can either bring their vaccination cards or have a picture of it on their phones. 

Metcalfe said about a dozen vendors have withdrawn because they aren’t vaccinated, or they want to avoid crowds for COVID-19 safety. 

There will be people checking vaccination status at the doors of the event. Once they are checked in, people can pay for entry and get a wristband. The wristband has to be cut off to be removed, so it can’t be given to someone else.

Overall, Metcalfe is optimistic about the event and wants to bring back some celebration of the holidays.

“This is a first step in returning to normal,” Metcalfe said. “And we hope that in the succeeding year, 2022, we’ll be able to open all our venues and be back to normal.”

To be fully vaccinated before the public market, you would need a single dose or second dose of a vaccine by Nov. 11.

Correction: This story has been updated to include Peter Metcalfe’s full name and role at Juneau Public Market.

Lyndsey Brollini

Local News Reporter, KTOO

Member support ensures trusted, fact-based news is always available for you when you need it. Support your reliable news source today. Donate to KTOO.

Read next

Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications