BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — After the pandemic wiped out the traditional Easter weekend shopping rush last year, the pierogi, polka and people are back at the Broadway Market.
"We’ve been here about two hours and are loving every minute of it," Nadine Schuessler, a customer, said.
The market will be open until 7pm on Good Friday, and then from 6am to 5pm on Holy Saturday. Face masks are mandatory and social distancing enforced. It’s made for smaller than usual crowds this year, not that shoppers see that as a bad thing.
"It's not as busy as it usually is but there is quite a few people here so we are having a good time," shopper Anna Gambino said.
The return of the Good Friday crowds has filled the historic market with the smells and sounds of a typical holiday weekend. It’s a moment businesses have waited almost two years for.
"It’s like being back to normal," Cindy Dawidowicz with Strawberry Island Chocolate, said, "people are social distancing, being very polite very patient. Everyone is having a good time."
Perhaps no one is more excited for a half-full market than Deborah Dechert. She runs Deb's Delights based right at the Broadway Market all year round.
"So happy, it’s such a difference. Last year it was a ghost town," Dechert said, "and (this year) we have action, we have music, we have people."
Dechert says the social distancing and mask wearing has been manageable. The biggest impact has been in sales, the crowds this year, she says, have been bigger than she could have imagined.
"(We're) running out of the cherry almond vinaigrette because, I’m surprised there are this many people out here," Dechert said.
Many vendors say the crowds have been slowly building all week. With many vendors feeling confident 2022 will be even brighter, especially with the success they are hoping for on Holy Saturday.
"It is awesome, I hope I do run out of just about everything that would be a really great feeling," Dechert said.