Airdrie Farmer’s Market ready to roll for another season
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:28 pm
The Airdrie Farmer’s Market kicks off its sixth season on June 4, rain or shine.
Since the market moved to the Plainsmen Arena parking lot last year, it has grown to a whole new level, according to market manager Candice Kolson.
“It’s really become what I envisioned since we moved to our new location in Jensen,” said Kolson. “It’s a great, walkable area, with lots of green space and a park for kids and dogs to play.”
Airdrie’s Farmer’s Market is the largest weekday outdoor market in southern Alberta and hosts approximately 60 vendors at any given market, with a rotation of close to 150 vendors stopping by over the course of the summer, according to Kolson.
There won’t be any radical changes like new locations for this year’s market, but Kolson has added at least one new wrinkle to the format.
This summer, food trucks will be open starting at 11 a.m. while the market will remain on its regular hours of 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“The demand was just so high and now people can visit the food trucks for either lunch or dinner,” she said.
In 2013, the market hosted two food truck frenzies, but the first was hit hard by heavy rain, which put a damper on attendance.
The frenzy that took place in August however saw more than 10,000 people attend, prompting Kolson to extend hours. Food truck frenzies in 2014 will take place on July 30 and Aug. 27.
New to this year’s market will be Michelle’s Market, a farmer from southern Alberta that sells watermelons and cantaloupes. Kolson says that they may not be around until later in the season when their products are in season.
Regular produce vendors from British Columbia will be on hand from the get go, so market goers will still be able to grab their fresh fruits and vegetables.
Due to the rotational nature of many of the vendors who frequent the Airdrie Farmer’s Market, Kolson says that it’s important to stop by regularly so as not to miss out on anything.
“During July and August we have a lot more drop-in vendors, so it’s a good idea to stop by and check in from week to week to see who’s there,” Kolson said.
The market has grown from a small and humble market of between five and 14 vendors to a bustling community event that Kolson says is something that Airdrie residents can be proud of.
“The way this market has grown is just phenomenal, it’s a nice way to get out and see your neighbours, it’s a walkable market that you can bring your kids or dogs to,” said Kolson, adding that dogs can’t be in the market itself due to the fresh food on display, but they can be in the adjacent park.
Kolson has also put out a notice that one of the market’s signs that was displayed near the corner of East Lake Boulevard and Yankee Valley Boulevard has gone missing. The market manager is offering free pies and beef jerky to whoever returns the sign.