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Calle Guanajuato season extended through December

file photoOutside dining is offered on Calle Guanajuatoin Ashland.

ASHLAND — The Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission approved Wednesday extension of the Calle Guanajuato season through Dec. 31.

The season was scheduled to end Nov. 14, but the Lithia Artisans Market and all but two restaurants with seating on the Calle were keen to keep the season open through the end of the year, said Recreation Superintendent Rachel Dials.

Last year, APRC approved a season extension through Feb. 28, in response to the ongoing economic struggle facing vendors and restaurants in downtown Ashland amid the pandemic.

Dials said she was approached by a restaurant with interest in extending the season further — feasibility pending review of the maintenance schedule and staff capacity this winter, Dials said.

An additional extension may be brought back to the commission in December.

Artisans Market manager Marcus Scott said the flexibility afforded to the market last year allowed artisans to put together a safe and enjoyable shopping experience for locals and visitors as the pandemic progressed.

“This collaborative effort makes me quite proud,” Scott said. “The presence that we have had out there is something that we shouldn’t take for granted. … 2020 was about survival, 2021 has been about trying to catch up a little bit.”

Scott said typically, most of the two-dozen artisans are market veterans. This year, 15-20 new artists joined the crew. The outdoor market serves as a primary economic resource for artisans, without major indoor shows to bring revenue, he said.

“What we have found is that we’ve been able to have this great presence there and continue to be a draw to downtown when not much else is going on,” Scott said.