Summer is not completely cancelled! Although many events have been forced to shut down due to COVID-19, there are still several things you can do to enjoy summer while also supporting local businesses. One of which is visiting some of Edmonton’s farmer’s markets. Thankfully, the government deemed farmer’s markets an essential service — allowing Edmontonians to get a slice of summer amidst this pandemic. Certain restrictions will be in place, of course, but luckily you can still visit and pick up a variety of homemade and homegrown products. The biggest downfall? No samples will be allowed. Thanks a lot, COVID.
With farmer’s markets about to kick off their summer season, I’ve put together what you can expect and where to visit.
The first thing? You may have to wait, so pick a warm day or dress appropriately. With current restrictions, only 50 people are permitted in at a time in order to manage numbers and maintain social distancing. I suggest going early on warm weekends to avoid line-ups.
Although going to the farmer’s market is often a fun outing with friends or family, it is encouraged that you shop one person per household and shop with purpose. Most markets will have a website with a vendor list and map available; consider checking these out online before visiting and plan out your shopping. And ensure you avoid leaning over tables or touching items unless you plan to purchase them. Keep in mind that there will be fewer vendors available, too.
Bringing your reusable bags from home is discouraged. If you do bring them, make sure they are clean, and avoid putting them down on any vendor tables. Cash is also discouraged and likely won’t be accepted by many vendors — most will have debit/credit options.
Sadly for dog lovers, furry friends are currently not allowed. Typically, certain markets also have live performances or activities for kids, however due to restrictions these are not currently taking place.
Overall, farmer’s markets this year will be less of a warm summer day excursion and more of a get-what-you-need shopping trip. However, I still encourage you to support local and check them out throughout the summer. Here are a few of Edmonton’s farmer’s market currently operating or soon to be starting:
124 Grand Market: Open Thursday nights 4-8 p.m. and Sundays starting June 7 11-3 p.m.
St. Albert Farmer’s Market: Opens June 6 and runs Saturdays 10-3 p.m.
Collingwood Farmer’s Market: Opens June 7 and runs Sundays 10-3 p.m. and mini-market Wednesdays 12-5 p.m.
Edmonton Downtown Farmer’s Market: Currently open. Saturdays (outside) 9-3 p.m. Sunday (indoor) 11-3 p.m. Those who are immune compromised, elderly, or would like to avoid crowds can visit Saturdays at 8:30 a.m. and Sundays at 10:30 a.m.
Southwest Edmonton Farmer’s Market: Currently open Wednesdays 4-7:30 p.m.
With our current situation constantly evolving, make sure you check farmer’s market websites for updated information on COVID procedures as they arise.
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