The City of Fernie will show its support to local food-service providers with pop-up COVID-safe dining options across the community.
Fernie said picnic tables will be installed on 6th Street, in the Station Square parking lot, on City Hall grounds on Friday, just ahead of the May long weekend.
“This pandemic has been extremely hard on our business community, and on our ability to socially gather downtown. Extending and supporting an expansion of outdoor seating options is one small way we can support a fun, ‘al fresco’, socially distant outdoor dining opportunity and enjoy everything that makes our historic downtown fabulous,” said Mayor Ange Qualizza.
An area dedicated to pedestrian traffic will be added to Station Square to accommodate physical distancing. A portion of 6th street, from 1st to 2nd Avenue and a section of the parking lot will be closed to vehicle traffic. That said, Fernie’s mobile vendors will still be able to access this area.
The Fernie Youth Art Collective the Youth Action Network will also add a splash of colour to the area by painting the concrete barriers that will be used to delineate spaces.
“The Fernie Chamber of Commerce is grateful to the City of Fernie and the province of BC’s Resort Municipality Initiative for the additional picnic tables that will be available to the public around downtown Fernie. We continue to urge locals to support our food and beverage industry and having these extra tables to eat take-out safely outdoors is going to really help our summer season,” said Brad Parsell Chamber of Commerce Executive Director.
“The more we can encourage local shopping and dining the better,” said Jikke Gyorki, Executive Officer for Tourism Fernie. “This initiative supports that while boosting a more accessible outdoor atmosphere in our downtown. As restrictions ease and tourism returns this summer, we are all excited about returning to social gatherings and business.”
Fernie said more bike parking will be made available in the area, while public washrooms will be open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. City staff will also enhance cleaning and waste management of the area to maintain the space.
Signage will be posted around the area to note the changes, along with the addition of physical barriers.