Plaza 2900 finds its footing
Jon Manchester - Aug 05, 2022 - Biz Releases

Downtown Vernon’s 2900 Plaza 2.0 is proving to be a big success in its second year.

The first iteration of the plaza in 2021, which closed the 2900 block of 30th Avenue to vehicles, turning the street into a pedestrian zone, suffered from stifling heat and smoky skies, but this year the Downtown Vernon Association had a full year to plan.

DVA executive director Keelan Murtagh says the learned lessons from last year and ample lead-up time have allowed the organization to provide a better experience.

“In terms of experience and participation, we are kicking last year’s butt,” Murtagh said.

He says in 2021, there were only 18 days of what he considered successful programming.

This summer got off to great start, and crowds have continued as the weather has co-operated and more activities are offered on the plaza.

The simple addition of tents and umbrellas offering shade has also made a noticeable difference.

“This year, we’ve been very blessed with a longer planning period and much better weather,” Murtagh said.

He says DVA staff has “gone a long way to deliver a quality experience … attendance is way up, we’ve seeing kids, families, downtown workers, even business meetings happening on the picnic tables.”

Murtagh says the DVA has been receiving “very positive feedback” and users are comparing it a European piazza experience with all the activities going on.

“A lot of businesspeople are coming down for lunch, and the children’s storytime is doing very well,” he said.

Murtagh says he’s “extremely pleased” people are engaging with the plaza and that it is delivering “on its initial promise.”

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