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Steveston farmers market set to re-open

10 markets are on the calendar for this year's Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market
Steveston Farmers and Artisans market is set to return next month.

A hallmark of Steveston weekends will be returning next month, after being sidelined for a year by COVID-19.

The Steveston Farmers and Artisans Market is set to make its return in May – barring any new restrictions.  

“We’ve had a year to think about it now…how we envisioned the market to look for this year in an adaptive state, and still have the same sort of vibrant market that we’ve had in past years,” said Pinky Camaclang, market coordinator.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but to be able to see everybody again and to give them hope that there’s something exciting to look forward to – it’s a lot of fun.”

The Steveston Farmers Market Committee unanimously voted last year to cancel the market as the first wave of the pandemic hit B.C., just a few weeks before it was set to open.

“I believe it was a hardship for a lot of our vendors who depend on markets for their income,” said Alan Sakai, committee chair.

The market will be operating with fewer vendors this year – likely between 25 and 40, depending on the day, according to Sakai.

“We won’t have as many vegetable vendors this year, because they’re struggling to get help…So we’ve had to adapt that way as well.”

However, people can still expect to see a mix of locally crafted and grown products.

On Mother’s Day, for example, the market will feature vendors selling flowers, baskets and bedding plants. Meanwhile, fruit will arrive later in the season. 

The committee has been working with the City of Richmond to make sure all provincial government and city health protocols are being followed.

“We’re really nervous about how we’re going to do this,” Sakai said. “We don’t want to become the centre of an outbreak or anything.”

Camaclang said that, because the market didn’t run last year, they were able to “take a mark from everyone’s page last year,” keeping an eye on how other markets operated or how people behaved in stores.

Vendors will be physically distanced, and distancing rules will also be in effect for volunteers and patrons.

The market will be open on May 9 and 23, June 6 and 20, July 4 and 18, August 1, 15 and 29 and Sept. 5. It will operate from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., in the Easthope parking lot across from the Steveston Community Centre.