Kimberley residents enjoyed the first Farmers’ Market of the year on Thursday, June 17, and in addition to the beautiful weather, delicious food and numerous wonderful vendors, they also were able to enjoy a sense of normalcy after so many months of lock down and isolation — a chance to visit with friends and enjoy the heart of the community.
There were at least 650 to 700 people through the gate, according to Wildsight Sustainability Coordinator Chad Kile.
Kile explained that they are supposed to maintain a maximum number of people within the actual market area on Howard Street, so he determined that the number should be at around 125 people at any given time.
“Since it’s outdoors it’s a little bit more flexible but I essentially did close to half of what I could potentially have in there,” Kile said. “But I know that there’s a lot of people who are still pretty concerned about COVID and the fact that we weren’t required to wear masks outdoors.”
The market had a single entrance and exit point and one directional flow, and guests were asked to still respect social distancing and sanitizer stations were available.
“I just wanted to keep it open and not get to congested, because that’s what we’re supposed to look out for,” Kile explained. “I figured rather than having to troll the market babysitting and telling people hey you’ve got to break it up you’ve got to keep moving, just keep it a little more free flowing is what I was thinking. It just feels more relaxed and people don’t feel badgered.
Kile said that as he was working the gate, many guests expressed how happy they were to be there.
“This year people were a little more used to it, but last year it was kind of the first public event that people were able to access after all the measures were put in place, people were really excited to just be outside and be able to run into people.
“For the most part everyone kind of knows the drill so they know what to do. Keep their distance and if they’re chatting pull off to the side so they’re not getting in people’s way. People were happy to have an opportunity to just get outside and do something kind of normal.”
Later in the summer Kile would like to see the addition of some live music, however with that there are restrictions. Farmers’ Markets are more of an essential service like a grocery store and less like an event, in terms of guidelines and having musicians encourages people to gather together.
“We’re just trying to work out what that’s going to look like,” Kile said. “But there is a plan to do that. Hopefully starting in July, our first market is on Canada Day, so hopefully we’ll have someone playing something. It does feel a little bit quiet when there’s no music so it would be good to have someone there.”
Last year the Market had a lot of big line ups, and Kile thinks that may be the case once Kimberley starts getting more visitors to town. This Market had a decent lineup right at the beginning, but people trickled in as time went on. Kile advises people to perhaps not show up right at 5 to avoid standing in line throughout the summer.
This is Wildsight’s eighth year running the Farmers’ Market and it will run this year every Thursday from 5 to 7:30 p.m. until September 17.
If you’d like to join as a vendor they are still accepting applications for vendors of locally grown, made, baked or raised products. You can contact Chad Kile at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.