BY MARK WEBER
It’s that time of year again when local shoppers can start picking up all sorts of homemade foods and treats, an extensive variety of fresh produce, not to mention a range of arts and crafts as the Lacombe Farmer’s Market gets underway.
The Lacombe Farmer’s Market will be at the Gary Moe Sportsplex, in the parking lot and indoors, every Friday morning beginning May 19th from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Vendors offer lots of homemade baking, crafts, fresh fruit, vegetables in season, jams, preserves, honey, eggs, woodwork, jewelry and much more, said Kit Glimm, the Market’s manager.
The weekly event also offers a friendly community environment for local residents to check out each week, not to mention visitors from across the region, she said, adding that this year marks the 38th season for the Lacombe Farmer’s Market.
“We’ve got lots of new vendors,” she said of how things are shaping up this year. A complete list won’t be known until a few weeks further into the season, she added. “I’m guessing we will average anywhere from 50 to 70 vendors every week.”
Overall, the goal is to ‘make it, bake it or grow it’, she said. “For an approved farmer’s market, we are only allowed 20 per cent commercial, and that 20 per cent is always full. So everything else is homemade. There lots to look over, from homemade crafts, woodwork, artists’ works, authors – just everything,” she added.
Having both indoor and outdoor portions to the Market are also beneficial for both vendors and the public, she explained. “We have the parking lot and the indoor (area) in the curling rink. We have a lot of vendors that don’t go outdoors at all,” she said.
For Glimm, who has been involved with the Lacombe Farmer’s Market for 12 years now, being involved with such a popular and growing event has been a fulfilling and extremely enjoyable experience.
“It’s really the people, and interacting with the vendors,” she said, pointing out what she enjoys the most. “I really enjoy it. And if you enjoy what you do, that’s half the battle,” she added with a laugh.
As mentioned, the beginnings of the Lacombe Farmer’s Market stretch back nearly 40 years. The original committee consisted of John Parsons, Gordon Kennedy, Shirley Oro, Lucille Fischer, Joe Doef, Margaret Friesen, John Skene and Harold Johnston.
“The first meeting was held on May 18th, 1979,” said Glimm. “And some of the original vendors and organizers are still involved today with the Market.
“We are a farming community, so we also have a lot of local vendors,” she said, adding that the Market also attracts vendors and customers from beyond the community as well. For more information about the Lacombe Farmer’s Market, call 403-782-4772 or 403-877-1280.
“We are also going to have a special customer appreciation market on Friday, June 30th which will coincide with the Canada Day weekend, too,” she said, adding that there will be some special highlights set for that day as well. “We thank all of our customers who have supported us through the years, because without them we wouldn’t be here.”
The Lacombe Farmer’s Market runs through to the Thanksgiving weekend.
Besides the weekly Farmer’s Market, there are other key, community-building events to watch out for as the summer season gets underway in Lacombe.
To begin with, June is Block Party month.
“We are excited to announce that for 2017 we will be giving away $100 gift cards to Co-op to help purchase supplies,” officials with the City recently announced through a release.
“Register your June Block Party during the month of May to be entered for a chance to win. Draws will be done June 1st.”
As officials point out, Block Parties are a great way for neighbours to meet, build friendships and create a sense of belonging to a community.
“When neighbours know one another they are more likely to look out each other and the neighbourhood, which helps with safety in the area and can help to decrease crime.”
This year, the City of Lacombe also has an activity kit that your neighbourhood can borrow when you have a block party. The kit contains games that residents can enjoy including golf toss or bocce ball. To book this kit for your block party, call 403-782-1267.
Also coming up is the annual Lacombe Days, which run this year from July 27th to 30th.
Lacombe Days is described as an annual festival that brings the community out, “To celebrate the rich and diverse culture, amenities, and people that the City of Lacombe has to offer.”
Another highlight during the event will be Locavore Lacombe on July 30th. Folks are invited to experience an event, “Celebrating the Lacombe food and beverage culture; savour delicious tastings of local food and drinks prepared by professional chefs and connect with the producers that bring the food and drinks to your table.”
A parade – always a fun part of Lacombe Days – is also slated for July 29th. Those interested in being a part of the parade are asked to contact the parade coordinator. For further details, check out lacombedays.ca.