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OpinionCentral: The Community Market Is Too Damned Hot!

Danville’s Community Market building can get unbearably hot during the summer months and that makes it bad for all the activities that go on there. It’s time to get this problem fixed.

I think it’s safe to say that a lot (if not most) Southside residents have been to Danville’s Community Market at least once. In fact, I looked back at my photo collection and found that I have been inside the Community Market building 46 times in the last year. The building is used for the almost year-round Farmers Market as well as for large-scale events like the Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce’s Shrimpfest , the museum’s Museum Meets Margaritaville and Racin’ & Tastin.

The building is huge and has a standing room capacity of 1500. When you combine that size with a rental rate of only $120 per hour, you can see why it’s the #1 choice for public & private events in the area.

Last Friday, I was there for the 2016 Fish N’ Friday fundraiser for the River District Festival. It was around 90° outside when the event started. Even with most of the community room doors wide open and fans blowing, the heat was terrible. In fact, it was so bad that you could feel everybody had less energy in the room. And that’s not fair to the organizers of the event who paid $320 just to rent the community room section for four hours.

Regarding the Farmers Market part of the building, let’s face it. You’ve got fresh produce, meat & eggs. Even with ice beds, your quality of product goes down when exposed to those levels of heat. Some of the baked goods vendors have had to pack up and leave before closing time because their products can’t take the heat.

And even on a mid-temperature day or night, the place gets very stuffy when at capacity for events like the Shrimpfest. And I’m speaking from personal experience there. Ugh.

It’s time for that to change.

SouthsideCentral proposes that Danville’s Parks & Recreation department work with Danville City Council and City Manager Ken Larking to get a proposal and bid package together to install air conditioning for the entire Community Market building.

Yes, it’s not going to be cheap. But, SouthsideCentral feels that the money spent would get a very good return on investment in two ways. First, it would make the Community Market more attractive to rent during hot weather months, plus it would make the end users of that building much more happier.

Let’s make this happen.

7 comments to OpinionCentral: The Community Market Is Too Damned Hot!

  • SheilaB

    I fully support this. Sites for events are limited and the community market is a prime choice- except when it is hot. I was there once helping get ready for an event and a couple came by to look at it. They needed place for wedding reception in summer. I told them no AC so better look elsewhere. I was a volunteer at the fish fry Bruce mentions and it was unbearably hot!!

  • Connie Owen

    About time something was done. I have completely stopped going to events there for this very reason. You’ve definitely hit the nail on the head with this one !!!

  • Alice Woodson

    I totally agree that this wonderful facility needs some type of cooling system. I am a vendor there and have met some of the nicest people in the area and also out of town guests . I am a baker and have had to leave early or not get to attend on the days it reaches past the 80’s. I have a baked good that will melt as it is iced and have lost quite a bit of product on one of those hot Saturday mornings there. I truly believe that this facility could be utilized and filled to its capacity if something could be done to cool it down in the summer months. May I also say, the people in charge of the market and events at the market could not be more understanding of my situation. Hopefully there is some type of grant or funding that can help with this.

  • The Community Market is brutally hot, but in their defense, this old building is not really very suited for standard air conditioning, with all the gaps in the structure that can let cold air escape and the hot air come in. I am a vendor there, selling jewelry, and I believe the Saturday Farmer’s Market would really benefit from some type of cooling system. Someone please figure out what is needed and make a bid so we can get it done!

  • Steve hopkins

    Greensboro farmers market is out side too , no air been that way for years and people keep on coming.

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