The Lacombe Farmers’ Market has a new day and time in order to accommodate the schedules of more working people.
“By customer request, we've been hearing from the community over the last few years that they wanted the ability to attend the market and a 9 to 1 schedule just made it hard. A lot of people that live herein Lacombe don't work in Lacombe. It's hard to come on their lunch break. We figured giving them the option of a 3 to 6 from May to June and 3 to 7 from July to October allowed the whole community to be able to come, attend, and enjoy the market,” said Tracey Richter, Lacombe Farmers’ Market Manager.
Richter is new to managing the Farmers’ Market but she says the time change was in action before she began managing the market. The Farmers’ Market has been in Lacombe since 1979 and Richter says they are trying to make it easier for working people to attend. With changing times, she feels it’s important for the market to accommodate the changes of modern society.
“Back in the day, the ladies went to farmers market and the men went to the auction. [You can see that tradition] when you look at places like Ponoka where their auction day is Wednesday and their Farmers’ Market is Wednesday. As time has gone on, obviously, society has changed more of us are a double working household than not. This makes it become a family night and not just one parent coming and flying through,” explained Richter.
She hopes families choose to come to the Farmers’ Market to enjoy a meal, live music, and to buy a couple of locally sourced items. However, Richter says there are some people who are concerned that this may not have been the right move for the farmers market. The change will only be a pilot for this year. If it is not successful this year, there’s a chance the market will return to Friday mornings next year.
Part of the reason people are concerned is because last year’s market was very successful and they were able to maintain over 80 vendors. So far, this year’s market will have 115 spots for vendors and already there is a waiting list for those spots. Richter says first priority goes towards vendors those who live in the local community.
“We're not making a change to spite anybody. We're making this change to better our community and give everybody the chance to get out and enjoy. A new day and a new time is the whole thing. It's still the same great market, it's always been,” said Richter.
The first market will be hosted on May 12 at the same location at Michener Park and every Thursday afternoon after that. A Spring Farmers’ Market will be held at the Lacombe Memorial Centre from 11:00AM to 4:00PM on April 30th.