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Holiday farmers’ market offered in Cochrane

Cochrane residents hoping to avoid the traditional holiday-shopping frenzy have an alternative place to make their Christmas purchases this season – the local farmers’ market.
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The Cochrane Christmas Farmers’ Market is coming up Dec. 8 and 9, offering residents a local option for their holiday shopping.

Cochrane residents hoping to avoid the traditional holiday-shopping frenzy have an alternative place to make their Christmas purchases this season – the local farmers’ market.  The Cochrane Farmers’ Market (CFM) will host its eighth annual Christmas Farmers’ Market Dec. 8 and 9, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Spray Lake Sawmill Family Sport Centre.  With nearly 100 vendors lined up to sell their wares, market manager Valerie McCracken said, the event will offer a “one-stop shop” for residents to pick up everything on their shopping lists. “There’s something for everyone, whether it’s gifts or foods, or preparing for your Christmas entertaining,” she said. “We always say you can come and do your Christmas shopping, your turkey, your wine, and everything that goes with it.” Along with the variety of food and drink available, McCracken said, patrons will be able to browse a variety of handmade products, from baby clothing and dog treats, to rock sculptures and jewelry, to art work or beaded Christmas ornaments. “Everything is going to be something that comes from that producer’s farm, garden or they made themselves,” she said. “It’s just a great variety of Christmas shopping.” McCracken added the event will include many of CFM’s usual vendors, but will also feature some that sell only holiday-related goods. “We do have vendors who just come to our Christmas market because they’re offering that seasonal product that we don’t see as much in our summer markets,” she said. “That’s kind of their niche…but we also have new vendors who haven’t been at any of our markets before, so that’s always nice to bring in new faces.” The vendors all come from southern Alberta, according to McCracken, but roughly one third are from the Cochrane area. Many others are from nearby communities, she said, including Bragg Creek, Water Valley or Canmore.  “We do try to make sure we are including as many local [vendors] as possible,” McCracken said. “Really, our farthest away are some of our protein suppliers – jerky and sausage – which comes from the Medicine Hat area.” The market will take place on both floors of the Spray Lake Sawmill facility. Most vendors will be located on the upper-floor running track, according to McCracken, while others will set up near the main-floor entrance. McCracken added the Christmas Farmers’ Market is not just a great way to check items off your Christmas list, but also an opportunity to support the local economy. “You’re absolutely supporting local and you’re supporting the farmers and all the people in Cochrane and area that are putting the money right back into this community,” she said.  “We really feel this is the way to make sure your dollar stays in the community and you’re supporting the families that are right here in our own area.”

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