You Hung the Moon: Saint John’s First Moonlight Bazaar

My city, Saint John, New Brunswick, has been killing it this summer with all the cool, outdoor, community events. From HULA to Area 506, Festival of Sail to Third Shift and Quality Block Party, Uptown Saint John is quickly becoming the place to be.

Last Saturday night, the latest event was added, and this one might just take the cake. Or should I say, the moon? The first ever Moonlight Bazaar was held in the Grannan Lane area of Uptown, and for it this city literally hung the moon. A giant, inflatable moon, that is. The event also featured street vendors, food, performances, and a DJ.

The moon was a truly awesome attraction, and everyone wanted to get a picture of it and with it. According to organizers, it weighed 150 lbs and was 7 metres wide. It hung, suspended and glowing above a temporary lawn behind Port City Royal and drew a crowd of thousands over the course of the evening. Across the street, people strolled down the city’s newly revamped Grannan Alley, just another dirty Saint John alley not so long ago, now the epicentre of this city’s mojo.

The Moonlight Bazaar was just one in a long line of must-see events that Saint John is starting to get a reputation for. The kind of event that people kick themselves later for missing.

I can’t tell you how exciting it is to be living in Saint John at this time, as the city gathers momentum and pulses with energy. When I moved to this city over a decade ago, you would never have seen an event like this. Any night of the week, you could go Uptown and pick and choose your parking spot. Now you’re lucky to find one at all, even on a slow Tuesday night.

This Uptown revitalization is the work of many, many people. It takes a village, after all. Companies willing to invest in Saint John, developers, passionate citizens and creative types who all envision a bright future for this city.

I’m no business person. I know I’m not going to be opening up my own shop or organizing the next big event. But I am a citizen of this city and I’m strongly invested in its future. And I’ll use my voice to shout from the rooftops about what’s happening here.

A city, down on its luck for so long, taking back its destiny. Creating the kind of artful community that gathers under a giant moon and dances in the streets. Dances to celebrate the shedding of its former skin into something new; something fresh. Something inspired.

Here are a few shots I took during the Midnight Bazaar:

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2 thoughts on “You Hung the Moon: Saint John’s First Moonlight Bazaar

  1. Alexandra Chasse September 24, 2017 / 10:44 am

    I’ve just discovered this blog. I’m from NB and I grew up in Grand Falls before moving away from Canada for the better part of my adulthood. I now live in Houston with my family, and I’ve just lived through Hurricane Harvey and am watching the city, as the Mayor prompted us to do, “get up, and get going.”

    Even though I’ve lived here long enough to naturalize as a citizen, make great friends, and become active in the progressive movement, there are times I still strongly feel like I’m an observer. My annual summer visits to NB reinforce this; they’ve come to take on an almost other-worldly quality. This feeling is amplified when I see cities like Moncton, Fredericton, and Saint John quietly diversifying on every level: social, cultural, economical.

    It’s great to be the outside observer for those movements, too, because I remember what it was like to visit Saint John- mostly for high school volleyball games- when I was younger. Back then, the city seemed huge, a fitting end to the river that passes through comparatively pastoral Grand Falls. Now, as a Houstonian, Saint John seems quaint. Except for the hidden gems- your photos of the North End are beguiling, and you’re right: there’s a sense in many small communities that they can come into their own as places to be. Sackville, New Brunswick is another example.

    I’ll be reading regularly. Thank you.

    • Melissa Smith September 24, 2017 / 10:48 am

      Thank you for your lovely comments and I hope that you and your family are safe and haven’t lost too much ❤️

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