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Area 506 Waterfront Container Village enjoying strong start to season

Saint John’s Area 506 Waterfront Container Village is enjoying a strong, busy start to its second season.

“I think we are off to a great start,” says Area 506 president Ray Gracewood. “But this is just the beginning.”

The village first opened over the May long weekend, and as June gets underway activities at the waterfront are ramping up.

“We kicked off trivia, we’ve got the backyard Olympics,” Gracewood says.

“We have a great program that we call pints and pups that encourages people to come down and socialize with their pets.”

Those events, on top of weekly concerts, great food, and shopping opportunities, have guests enjoying their time at the waterfront.

“It’s a great use of shipping containers here in Saint John,” says Rachel Smith, who took her family visiting from Saskatchewan to see the harbourfront hub.

“And I love to see all the different vendors, have a bite to eat,” Smith says.

“It’s actually very nice,” says St. Malachy’s Memorial High School student Angela Qumak.

“We all took a bunch of pictures down… by where the heart lock is and by all the containers. It’s very nice to take pictures,” Qumak says.

Andi Duplessis enjoys the simple things the village has to offer.

“The beer is cold,” she says. “And the sun is hot.”

There are nearly 40 unique vendors set up in the container village, who have created a community all their own.

“If we need something from somebody else we can just call and ask,” says Aimée Goubernell, who works at Nela’s by the main stage.

“We are one big family at the container… and we love sharing food and snacks with one another. It’s great here,” Goubernell says.

“Everybody is really good,” says fellow vendor Steven Charlebois, who operates Off The Wall Eyewear Emporium.

“Everybody says hi to you, everyone says big smiles and hello. No one is out to get anyone else.”

All of this has helped contribute to Gracewood’s goal of making uptown Saint John a popular destination.

“People are just ecstatic to live in Saint John,” Gracewood says.

“Visit Saint John, bring their friends to Saint John. That’s really what we are trying to do with Area 506 and the Container Village.”

The big events are still to come later this summer. On July 28 and 29, the inaugural Boxcar Country Music Festival will take over the Saint John harbour. The following weekend the popular Area 506 Music Festival will light up the city for the seventh year in a row.  

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