After two postponements, a specialty market typically hosted by the Crossfield Farmers’ Market (CFM) in the spring will go ahead a little later than planned.
According to Cheryl Shea, market manager with CFM, the popular Crossfield Fall Farmers’ Market will take place at the Crossfield and District Community Centre on Sept. 19 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. One of two annual specialty markets CFM hosts – the other takes place at Christmas – Shea said the upcoming market was originally set to occur in April, but the arrival of COVID-19 derailed the event twice.
“We put it off until May, then we still couldn’t go ahead with it,” Shea said. “We finally have the approval.”
The event will be different from the weekly markets CFM hosts every Thursday until the end of September, Shea said. The weekly markets are generally smaller than the specialty markets.
In order to take place, Shea said the Crossfield Fall Farmers’ Market will feature fewer vendors to ensure proper social distancing measures can be adhered to.
“It was initially a sold-out market with over 100 vendors secured for the event,” Shea said. “In order to run it on Sept. 19, we will have indoor and outdoor markets.”
Shea said some vendors have backed out due to booking issues, but she still anticipates around 90 vendors will take park in the market.
The market is free, Shea said, and shoppers can look forward to finding something for everyone, from local produce and desserts to craft spirits and handmade jewellery. Food trucks will also be parked at the Crossfield and District Community Centre for hungry shoppers to enjoy.
Because the specialty markets have drawn large crowds in the past, Shea said her team has taken steps to ensure attendees feel safe. Directional flow, sanitization stations and outdoor shopping options are just a few of the measures CFM has implemented.
Shea said masks are encouraged but not mandatory. Vendors will be set up two metres apart from each other. They will also wear masks and set up Plexiglas barriers at booths inside the community centre.
“I know there has been concern with large crowds coming to town,” Shea said. “That hasn’t escaped my mind either. With everything we have in place, I think we can offer a safe venue.”
So far this summer, Shea said, shoppers have been happy to wear masks and comply with sanitizing practices. She added people enjoy supporting local business, which boosts attendance and sales for producers and vendors.
“People really love shopping and supporting local,” Shea said. “A lot of people expressed a lot of appreciation for the fact the markets can still go ahead. I couldn’t be happier.”
For more information on the event, visit Crossfield Farmer’s Market’s Facebook page.