It’s almost summertime! That means the Grande Prairie Farmers’ Market is springing into full activity.
“We were excited to re-open to business as usual, just in time for the May long weekend,” says Assistant Manager Chelsea Rach. “Our vendors can’t wait to resume their normal activity and we know the community loves to come and enjoy local products and services.”
The customer experience remains much the same even in COVID-19 conditions. The Farmers’ Market is well-positioned to function in a time of social distancing, thanks to booths being in a stall type formation.
Several steps are in place to ensure safety and visitor comfort.
“We have set up hand sanitizing stations at each door and placed X markings on the floor to show six feet distancing between customers,” says Rach. “We are disinfecting all door handles, bathrooms, and any other frequently touched surfaces every half hour.”
The Farmers’ Market is located at 10032-101 Ave. It’s open Fridays from 4-7 p.m. and Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Vendors are also on hand on Wednesdays from 4-7 p.m., starting July 8 until the end of August.
Vendors sell bakery items, produce and meats, a variety of food and beverage products, wood crafts, crafts, jewelry and shoes, art, and personal products and services. There are numerous miscellaneous booths and a food court.
Summer event planning is also underway – including street markets, which are slated to resume in July. For the second summer, talented local buskers, provided by GP Regional Tourism and the GP Downtown Association will feature weekly at the Farmers Market. Street culture at it’s best.
“Right now, we are looking at our space and determining how many vendors we can include to be in line with social distancing guidelines” Rach says. “We are hopeful our August event can include a band and barbecue as usual.”
The Farmers’ Market features 56 permanent vendors and three temporary stalls in the building itself. Over the summer, vendors increase with fruit and vegetable trucks and booths located outside.
There will be six-foot distancing between outside vendors, as well. Hand sanitizer stations are also being placed in the parking lot.
“Visitors will be encouraged to social distance outside, as well. We want people to feel comfortable while shopping at the market now and always,” says Rach.
As with other restaurants in the community, the food court is open to 50 per cent capacity. There are take-out and delivery options as well as freezer meal selections and dinner kits.
Planning for the 2020 Christmas Show has begun and vendors are now being accepted. The event is set for Dec. 3-5.
For more information on the Farmers’ Market, check out www.gpfarmersmarket.ca