The Sylvan Lake Farmers’ Market is looking to open for the year in early June. Crystal Loewen, manager of the market, says the opening date is not for sure as approval from the Town is still in the works due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “I’ve asked for June 5 or [June] 12 because now it’s too late to put all of those extra measures into place for May,” said Loewen.
Typically the market is opens for the summer alongside the May long weekend. When the Sylvan Lake Farmers’ Market does open it will looks a bit different this year to follow social distancing, sanitizing and hygiene practices. Loewen says vendors will have to be spaced further apart, which will result in there being less room for vendors.
“We’ll be putting probably five feet between the tents to ensure that there’s adequate space to prevent people from crowding and things,” Loewen explained, adding a recent announcement stated all vendors are now allowed to return to markets, not just food and plants. Food trucks are permitted to be at the market, says Loewen, but there will not be any seating areas for attendees to sit and eat at so food will have to be taken to go.
Additionally, she says, no entertainers will be allowed and socializing is not encouraged at the market this year. “It’s kind of sort of more like going to a grocery store I suppose in a way,” explained Loewen, who says markets are usually considered a social event.
“Come and get your groceries, do your shopping, but we’re not encouraging people to stick around and visit.” As long as people are social distancing and following the rules Loewen doesn’t expect numbers will have to be controlled within the market, although, if it becomes too crowded something will be implemented. She asks those attending the markets this summer be a little more patient because it may take vendors a little longer to serve people.
“[We] just ask the public to be considerate, kind to one another and patient when they come so that we can adhere to everything for their safety as well as our own,” Loewen said. She says the market is thankful it is still allowed to operate and serve as an outlet for Alberta producers to sell their product.