East Bank celebrates opening of new market

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By Stacey Tinsley, stinsley@bossierpress.com

The new East Bank Market celebrated its grand opening Tuesday at the East Bank District and Plaza in Bossier City. 

The East Bank Market is a celebration of local vendors, handcrafted goods, artists, food, and small businesses. The new East Bank Market will feature more than 55 local vendors, weekly food trucks, kids activities, live music, face painting, balloons, bouncy houses, games and more.

East Bank Market Manager Chris Graham, who also runs the Bossier Farmers Market and the Night Markets, said, “We’re very excited. We’re going to have different vendors and food set up weekly for the public. And we will also have some of the best food trucks in the Bossier area here.”

The market will run every Tuesday afternoon from 4-7 p.m. from March to November in the East Bank Plaza at 665 Barksdale Blvd. The event also offers free admission and free parking.

Mayor Walker said in a statement prior to the grand opening, “We are excited to welcome the event to the downtown area, it showcases the vitality of the East Bank District. Bossier City envisioned events such as this for the East Bank District and Plaza Area. I wish them much success.”

The City of Bossier City spent $15 million and 18 months renovating a mile of Barksdale Boulevard in the city’s old downtown, renaming the area the East Bank District. Improvements included repaving the road and making it two lanes, building new sidewalks, creating bicycle lanes and installing a festival plaza that can accommodate festivals.

Robin Jones, Bossier Art Council director and East Bank Plaza events manager, said, “With each new business and each new event, we are drawing more patrons to the area. The addition of the East Bank Market is a huge win for the area because it will certainly be just one more reason to enjoy our District and all that it has to offer.” 

Last year, the Bossier City Council approved funding that would allow the BAC to act as events manager for the East Bank District’s Plaza area. The council appropriated $25,000 to fund the ability to manage and promote events in the district.

“It took over a year. We had to get past those learning curves,” said Bossier City Chief Administrative Officer Pam Glorioso. “Having Bossier Arts Council take over as management makes sense with their location right across the street.”