Farmer’s Market to begin May Long Weekend

Tyler
Tyler Clarke
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Baked goods are seen at the winter incarnation of the Prince Albert Farmer’s Market in November. 

The first Prince Albert Farmer’s Market of the season will take place on Saturday, May 17, at the city hall parking lot from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

 

The date was set at the close of a lengthy debate at the organization’s annual general meeting at the Prince Albert Travelodge on Sunday.

The Wednesday market will begin the following week, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on May 21, beginning in front of city hall and moving on to Central Avenue by July 2.

As far as the public will be able to tell, the Farmer’s Market is continue as is, newly-elected Prince Albert Farmer’s Market president Bob Gill said after the meeting.

“Last year was pretty poor weather -- with the early spring rain we had a lot of people lost their crops so we were down (vendors) in that aspect,” he said, adding that he anticipates better spring weather this time around.

“I think the numbers will get back to what they have been traditionally in the past.”

Past president Shauna St. Amand stepped down as president on Sunday, shifting her focus toward the position of market manager -- a role she said that she already fills by taking care of the day-to-day issues.

By opening on May 17, the market should have gained enough momentum for a significant showing during the Prince Albert Downtown Street Fair, scheduled for June 14.

The market is still tentatively set to continue its Thursday evening incarnation at the Prince Albert Tourism Centre, the details of which the board still needs to sort out.

In addition to planning this year’s market, Sunday’s meeting solidified the organization’s “Self-made, self-baked or self-grown” underlying principle.

Last year was pretty poor weather -- with the early spring rain we had a lot of people lost their crops so we were down (vendors) in that aspect. Bob Gill

The principle was raised in response to a market controversy that sprang up last season, wherein a vendor sold someone else’s produce.

The board will be allowed to make rare exceptions to this rule on a case-by-case basis, although everything must come from Saskatchewan.

The only exception to this rule is the British Columbia fruit stand that usually shows up for the Wednesday market – an exception that has been allowed since local producers cannot grow what the British Columbian vendor can sell.

Although membership briefly dabbled with the idea of relocating the downtown market to the South Hill Mall parking lot, this idea was quickly squashed.

Consistency is key to growing a customer base, membership concluded, with Gill noting that the 3,000 people who work downtown help feed the market -- a draw he doubts the South Hill Mall location would be able to provide.

Looking even further into the future than the downtown summer market, membership decided on Sunday to continue hosting a winter farmer’s market in the South Hill Mall.

Last winter’s market took place form mid October to mid December. 

Organizations: Prince Albert Downtown Street Fair, Prince Albert Tourism Centre

Geographic location: Central Avenue, South Hill Mall, Saskatchewan British Columbia

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