A Friday evening downtown market in summer and extended shopping hours in December were two efforts used to draw customers to Summerland’s downtown businesses.

YEAR IN REVIEW — Efforts made to attract customers

Merchants in Summerland’s downtown area worked to attract customers in summer and in the buildup to the December holiday season.

Merchants in Summerland’s downtown area worked to attract customers in summer and in the buildup to the December holiday season.

In summer, country markets were held downtown on Friday evenings. The markets were set up in addition to the regular Tuesday morning markets, which are held on Kelly Avenue from May to October.

In December, downtown merchants opened their doors on Friday evenings, beginning at the Summerland Festival of Lights.

The response to the December openings was mixed.

On Dec. 6, one of the coldest evening of the winter, many attended the Wine Walk and Shop event as wineries from Summerland’s Bottleneck Drive wineries had wine tastings at several businesses.

Todd Laidlaw of True Grain Bread said customers that evening complained about the difficulty in finding parking spaces downtown.

Other Friday evenings, without special events attached, did not see the same volume of customer activity.

“I was a big believer from the beginning that it wasn’t enough just to open our doors in the evening,” Laidlaw said.