PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — A proposed ordinance change by Mayor D.C. Reeves could expand Palafox Market to Plaza Ferdinand.
For the last 36 years, an ordinance has prohibited events with noise, booths, vendors and stages at Plaza Ferdinand.
Mayor Reeves believes they can maintain the history of the park while accommodating the more than 50 vendors on the market’s waiting list.
“When you have a backlog of 50 plus small businesses, whether it be crafts, retail when we have a backlog that can’t get into Palafox market, that’s what we call pent-up demand,” said Mayor Reeves. “We want to make sure that we foster a small business community.”
Expanding the market to Plaza Ferdinand would give up to 80 new vendors the opportunity to sell their goods.
One of the hopeful vendors is photographer Brady King. King said he’s new to the area, but is already eager to be a part of Saturday’s market.
“I like to think I’m the best,” said King. “I like a lot of the other art but I have a lot of experience at this and I think my art stands out on its own.”
Reeves said Thursday the revenue brought in from the expansion will go towards the maintenance of the park, which was once a Spanish market.
“If we talk about history and wanting to respect our history, before this was even the state of Florida that’s what this space was used for,” said Reeves.
Each week the market draws people to Downtown Pensacola.
“It’s great for the community,” said King. “It draws tourists and we have a lot of those. You can take a taste of Pensacola home with you.”
If approved by city council, the market would run at the same time as the market north of Garden St., between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m..