Market Days returns to Concord

Courtesy— Intown Concord’s annual Market Days in downtown Concord.

Old Fashioned Bargain Days, fondly referred to by some as Old Fashioned Junk Days, originated in 1974 as an initiative by downtown merchants in Concord to clear out aging inventory. This sidewalk sale not only offered amazing deals, but it attracted many visitors to the area to explore.

As the years passed, the event grew and evolved. In 1980, a crucial decision by the organizers at the time led to the closure of Main Street to vehicles for all three days of the festival. This shift marked the beginning of its transformation from a mere shopping event into a full-fledged community festival, including music, a beer garden, and entertainment for the whole family. By 1993, the event had gained a new name —Market Days — a testament to its growing scope and popularity.

Despite the many changes over the decades, one element has remained steadfast: the unwavering commitment of the community and downtown businesses. Even the hiatus forced by the COVID-19 pandemic couldn’t dampen the spirit of Market Days. Upon its return, the event emerged larger and more dynamic than ever. Today, it boasts three stages of live music, a variety of free activities for children and adults throughout the day, and an impressive lineup of 162 vendors spanning food, retail, and nonprofits.

The success of Market Days is strengthened by the generosity of its many sponsors, including this year’s Presenting Sponsor Xfinity and the Media Sponsor Binnie Media. The event also benefits from the support of the Capitol Center for the Arts, whose collaboration brought a nationally renowned performance on Friday night, and Red River Theatres, who has made the Thursday night outdoor movie a beloved annual tradition.

Market Days is planned by our small but mighty team at Intown Concord. Intown Concord is a nonprofit organization that consists of two full-time staff members and an intern. We are supported by a working Board, along with the Market Days Planning Committee, and an army of volunteers that truly bring the event to life each year.

Market Days continues to grow and evolve, yet it remains a symbol of community pride and connection. While Intown Concord plans the event, its long history and success are truly driven by the dedication of the residents and longtime supporters. Thank you for 50 wonderful years, Concord!

Jessica Martin is the Executive Director of Intown Concord.

Take a look at the history of Market Days in the summer edition of Around Concord Magazine. Buy an issue at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord or stop by the Concord Monitor booth during Market Days. We’ll have limited copies available for free!

Author: The Concord Insider

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