The 30th Market Day at Birka is approaching, and the staff would like to offer some additional information about the event for your planning convenience.
We’d like to start of by reminding you that this year the event is 3 days long – Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. As this is new, Sunday activities are limited – merchants will be open until 3 pm. There are no other scheduled activities on Sunday except for Kingdom Curia, starting at 9 am. Because this is new, not all merchants will be staying for Sunday, so to avoid disappointment if you want to visit someone specific, we recommend trying to squeeze them in on Saturday.
The merchant book listing who is attending is now available on the event web site: Birka Merchant List
If you are attending the entire weekend, Sunday is included in your base event fee. There is a reduced fee for anyone who just comes for merchants on Sunday. Also please note that if you are only coming for Curia on Sunday morning, you will be asked to sign the event waiver, but do not have to pay a site fee.
The hotel is under new ownership this year, and there are changes from last year. Most are minor, but we want to avoid any unpleasant surprises.
- Pet policy – the hotel remains pet friendly, but pets are no longer allowed in function spaces (the expo center, the armory, the meeting rooms, etc.) They must remain in your room. Service animals remain welcome – any questions about them should be directed to the hotel.
- Elevator use restrictions – the hotel has modified the elevators to require a room key for access to upper floors. The mezzanine can still be accessed by anyone who needs or prefers to avoid using the stairs.
- Lobby lounge restriction – The area of the lobby surrounding the fireplace has been converted into a lounge which is available only to members of Hilton’s Honors program at the gold and higher levels. This is a policy of the hotel chain, and not something we can change.
- Food options:
- JD’s Tavern has closed. It will be re-opened as an additional restaurant called The Penstock when renovations are complete. For our convenience this weekend, it will be open for bar service (drinks and a limited food menu) only.
- A new hotel restaurant, The Current, will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner in the space adjacent to the lobby where the royal room was formerly located. It offers typical hotel food at average hotel price ranges.
- Lunch and dinner are also available at the bar section of The Current in the lobby where the breakfast cafe was under the old management.
- As in previous years, food concessions will be open in the expo center and outside the armory for lunch on Saturday, and only outside the Expo center for lunch on Sunday.
- Other changes are largely cosmetic – the carpet is new, there are fewer plants, etc. Most of the actual staff have remained unchanged.
You can view a floor plan of the hotel here, on their web site: First Floor and Mezzanine layout
Also the Gate Staff would like to remind you that if you are bringing a minor who is not your own child or under your legal guardianship, you must arrange the proper waivers ahead of time. https://www.sca.org/docs/waivers.html. See the bottom section about medical authorization. We do not want to have to disappoint anyone by turning them away, but SCA policy leaves us no discretion in this area.
And, to end on a good note, parking should be easier this year. There are hockey games at the nearby Southern New Hampshire University Arena which shares the parking garage with us, but they do not start until later afternoon on Saturday, so we expect substantially less competition for space in the parking garage than in the past several years.
We look forward to seeing you next weekend,
The Market Day at Birka Staff