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Clarendon Night Market Called Off, Crystal City Gets Art Market

by Ethan Rothstein | June 17, 2014 at 12:30 pm | 1,419 views | No Comments

Clarendon Night Market logo(Updated at 6:00 p.m.) The proposed night and arts markets in Clarendon have been cancelled, but a new arts market is on its way to Crystal City in July.

Matt Hussmann, the executive director of the Clarendon Alliance, told ARLnow.com this afternoon that the markets fell through when the “parking lot operator” changed its terms –not Wells Fargo Bank, as he originally stated.

(A tenant in the Wells Fargo building, who declined to speak on the record, disputed Hussmann’s account.)

“The change made it unaffordable and too risky because we’re a nonprofit and can’t take on that kind of risk,” Hussmann said. “We’d like to do a market, we know that there’s demand for one in Clarendon, we’ve just got to find some space to do it.”

The Clarendon Alliance applied to the County Board for a permit for a night market in May, and had planned to launch May 31 from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Saturdays.

Crystal City Sparket logoThe arts market was part of the night market application, and was planned to be called “Sparkmarket” and managed by Jessica Blaszczak, who managed the former Ballston Arts Market. A similar market is coming to Crystal City on the 1800 block of Crystal Drive, called “Sparket Creative Market.”

According to organizer Diverse Markets Management, the market will launch on Wednesday, July 16, from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. and will continue weekly until Oct. 29.

“A diverse mix of art, crafts, handmade jewelry, accessories, bath/beauty and other local and handcrafted products are desired,” Diverse Management said in a press release. “As an additional draw, live-music and select food products will be part of the programming mix.”

Crystal City Business Improvement District President Angela Fox said the market will be another addition to the neighborhood’s offerings like its weekly farmers market on Tuesday afternoons.

“We’re excited to launch it,” she said. “We think it’s a great activator, we think it’s something fun for workers to do during the day, and we love creativity and want to bring it here.”

Hussman said Clarendon Central Park next to the Metro could be an option for a night market or another type of market — it’s where Clarendon hosts its weekly farmer’s market on Wednesdays from 3:00 to 7:00 p.m. Clarendon Alliance had to move out of its space next to South Block Cafe because its lease expired, Hussman said, so no movement on another market has happened while he had to pack up the office.

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