The South Cariboo Farmer’s Market will open for the season on Friday, May 7.
More than 30 vendors are signed up for the annual weekly market, which will be held from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fridays until Oct. 1 at the South Cariboo Rec Centre on Wrangler Way. Market manager Amanda Patterson said the new venue will allow more vendors and give people more space while shopping. Those who are interested can also grab a bite and take a walk around the 100 Mile Marsh.
The market had previously been held at the 100 Mile Community Hall, which is being used for COVID-19 vaccinations this spring. Unlike last year, when the market was limited to six vendors offering food only at the start of the season, this year’s weekly offerings will include a full contingent of both food and crafts.
The 100 Mile Hospice and 100 Mile Lions will also on be site, selling raffle tickets to help bolster their organizations.
“We’re super excited about the new location,” Patterson said. “It’s nice the marsh is beside us and people can take advantage of that.”
Patterson said there are a lot of new faces and returning members to the market this year, including two different gluten-free bakers and diabetic treats – which had been requested by the community – as well as a couple of new soap makers. Favourite regulars like Lolly’s Baking, Summit Creek Sausage and Big Rock Ranch are also signed up, although Big Rock Ranch is a couple of weeks behind, she said.
She added she was a bit surprised at seeing the return of some vendors, who are coming back to the market after a five-year hiatus. “It’s nice to see people coming back out of the woodwork and wanting to participate in the market,” she said, adding it’s also nice to “have it so full.
“We’re all ready to get back into a normal routine and feed ourselves,” she said.
She said the market will likely only operate during the day this year as evening markets are too much like an event. COVID protocols such as social distancing are in place, but given that it’s an outdoor market, masks are recommended but not required.
Patterson noted those who can’t make the Friday market are invited to reach out to her so they don’t miss out on their favourite foods. Many of the vendors also participate in other markets around the South Cariboo, including the Loon Bay Crafters’ market and Heritage Market at 108 Mile, both set to start May 22 and the Interlakes Farmer’s and Flea market, scheduled to open on June 4.