As vendors prepare for the opening of the South Cariboo Farmers’ Market in May, directors of the non-profit society are hard at work trying to secure a location for the popular spring and summer attraction.
Last summer, the market was forced to relocate to the South Cariboo Rec Centre parking lot, after the 100 Mile Community Hall was booked for COVID-19 vaccination clinics. In July, when wildfires broke out in the South Cariboo, the market was moved again when the rec centre was opened up as an emergency staging location for firefighters, Emergency Support Service volunteers and evacuees.
“It was not only confusing for the marketers, it was confusing for the customers, too,” board member Rod Hennecker said.
Market directors are exploring some options, Hennecker said, including the rec centre parking lot which he described as “not ideal.”
“We don’t know what’s going to happen. It became a landing spot for some of the evacuees last year and we had to move, and there is a paving job planned in the parking lot as well,” he said. “We’d like to be back around the community hall but due to finances, we’re not sure if we can afford the cost that would entail.”
A location that is highly visible and walkable for those living in town, with enough space to accommodate many vendors would be ideal, Hennecker said.
“We want to be some place that the community can find us regularly and be assured we’re going to be there,” he said.
Directors are considering reaching out to the District of 100 Mile House for some assistance in securing a location, given what Hennecker described as the market’s important impact on the community.
“We should be encouraging people to produce food up here and that’s all we’re trying to do with the farmers’ market,” he said. “It’s an important thing and it should be treated as such and supported by the town.”
District staff said they had not yet received any requests from the market organizers but would be prepared to offer assistance if they can.
The farmers’ market is also in search of a new manager to take over the week-to-week operations. To find out more, visit www.southcariboofarmersmarket.org