The Peoples Gas Holiday Market will also feature 70 Black-owned businesses from the area for the first time.By Chris Hoffman

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The holiday season in downtown Pittsburgh is set to kick off.

The Peoples Gas Holiday Market officially opened Friday morning.

Normally, the holiday market would have opened already around Light Up Night, but as with many events this year, the pandemic has forced that to change.

This also means safety protocols will be in place for the market to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Face masks will be required by anyone visiting the market at all times. Lines will be spread out so guests can do their best to be physically distant. When looking at items, try not to touch anything before you buy it.

“We’ve created some more space for folks to spread out. So our vendors have a lot more room for queuing. We feel this is an extremely safe opportunity,” Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership President and CEO Jeremy Waldrup said.

Market staff will be cleaning and sanitizing highly touched surfaces. There may be times where you are going to have to wait to enter the market because of capacity limits.

Something that’s also a little different — Santa wasn’t able to come visit this year, but he can Zoom live from the North Pole. Many of the same safety protocols are in place to speak with Jolly Old St. Nick as well.

“It’s a little bit different this year. ////very safe experience for folks to get down. Put the holidays back in their holiday shopping,” Waldrup said.

For vendors in the market, this has been a tough year.

“My business stopped in the middle of March. Everything ended. All the shows ended,” Kelly Sbczak of Global Girl Gifts said.

This is her seventh year in the market, and she said it’s her marquee event of the year.

“While we’re all here to have a good time and hopefully people find some nice products they like, at the same time safety is the priority,” she said while setting up her shop.

Outside of Market Square, shopping opportunities will include other events and vendors.

For the first time, the market will showcase about 70 Black-owned businesses from the area. It’s part of what is called the Black Market.

For more information about this shopping opportunities and events, click here.

On Friday, November 28 and Saturday, November 29, the market will be open until 9:30 p.m.
For more information about this years holiday market click here.