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Monthly street fair Moonlight Market to bring eclectic vendors to sidewalks of Gay Street

The spring weather is (seemingly) here to stay just in time for downtown’s newest nightlife offering. 

The Moonlight Market is slated to kick off its April-September run on Gay Street Saturday and is set to continue on the second Saturday of each month. The market features several local vendors, giving the public options for eating, shopping and interacting. 

Jacob Taylor, spokesman for the event and co-founder of marketing agency CivitasNow, said he is excited to see the atmosphere at the market. 

“We expect it to be kind of like Bourbon Street,” Taylor said.

Bourbon Street is a street in New Orleans known for its all-night partying. 

Most businesses will offer some sort of musical element, whether it be a DJ or a band, so visitors can enjoy live music, ambient lighting and building projections as they stroll through the market at dusk. 

An eclectic mix of 45-50 restaurants, retailers and other vendors that call Gay Street home, will stay open late and offer special deals. 

Among the local retailers, Ghetto Vintage will be selling merchandise out of its Airstream trailer, and ZenCha Tea Salon will be hosting a “Midnight Tea,” which consists of a buffet style appetizer, entree and dessert for $9.99. 

ZenCha is also set to host an international tea tasting for $5, where patrons can sample eight different teas from around the world, said Katie Vitarella, supervisor at ZenCha.

Taylor also highlighted the public transportation connecting the campus area and downtown, especially the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA) system, making it easier for college students to experience the Gay Street neighborhood. 

Cleve Ricksecker, executive director of the Capital Crossroads Special Improvement District, which aims to improve the downtown area, said he thinks the Moonlight Market will appeal to college students.

“It’s a great urban environment and the activities there will be very appealing to people at OSU,” Ricksecker said.

Ricksecker hopes that the monthly urban street fair will inspire Columbus residents to see what this up-and-coming neighborhood has to offer. 

Gay Street’s Moonlight Market is another example of Columbus’ ever-expanding downtown. It is set to start at 6 p.m. and go until 11 p.m. between High and Third streets. 

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