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Handshake City coming to Bagg's Square in Utica

Bagg's Square in Utica will look different in the next few weeks.

Posted: Aug. 9, 2018 11:36 PM
Updated: Aug. 9, 2018 11:54 PM

UTICA -- Bagg's Square in Utica will look different in the next few weeks.

A new urban market/park, made from shipping containers, is coming to the area.

Co-founder Katie Reilly says the market will use renovated shipping containers to bring food, art, workshops, retailers, and more to Bagg's Square.

"We did some research and we saw it happening in big cities," Reilly said. "San Diego, Toronto, Brooklyn, and why can't we have that here in Utica. Utica is going through a big revitalization so it makes sense to try to implement something like that."

The market will be called 'Handshake City', which came from an old nickname for Utica. Reilly says with the help of a team, she hopes to start renovating and installing doors on the containers by next week.

"It's exciting. It's interesting to see people off the street just coming by, and then it turns out they're volunteering, and then it turns out they're artists who also want to help."

When the park opens, the containers will hold vendors that will sell food and merchandise throughout the park. There are currently three containers that will have murals painted on them. The containers will have space for 10 different vendors. Reilly says using containers is more cost effective than being in a building.

"It might be really cost prohibitive for people to rent a store front. So we thought this was a really good option for people to have less risk in their business."

Reilly says the park/market will have music, workshops, and other events that will be suited for people of all ages.

"This is really just a place for everybody. We want it to be kid friendly, dog friendly. Come down here, eat lunch, shop, listen to some music. There's going to be a lot of things for people of all types to do."

The market will launch on Aug. 25 and will be kicked off by the Downtown Get Down festival. You can learn more about 'Handshake City' here.

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