The Bentley Farmers Market will open June 6 after receiving approval from their board.
“We have been working hard in Bentley to create a tight strategic plan. It is a very busy, unique market with parts both inside and outside. We have looked at every angle and thankfully we just received approval,” Wendy Buyar, organizer, said.
Buyar said guests coming into the market can expect a different experience than a typical year.
”It will be more locked down and the market isn’t a place for people to meet their friends,” she said. “It is about getting what you were looking to get. We don’t want people to gather at this market but we are opening and we have loads of precautions in place. We are doing everything humanly possible to make our community as safe as possible.”
Buyar expects about 50 per cent of the typical vendors seen in Bentley due to social distancing requirements, but said that will still be plenty of vendors.
“Even at 50 per cent, that will still be a lot of vendors,” she said.
The issue that comes from 50 per cent capacity and more safety requirements is financial.
“We are running the market at a deficit because we half as many vendors coming in and we have a lot more expenses. We are doing our best to find grants and some extra funding to help cover those expenses,” she said.
She added, “
We are super excited to open and we are extremely thankful for the support we have had from the Town of Bentley to help us open this market. It is a huge economic driver for that town and the local businesses really rely on it, so it is important we get it open.”
Wednesday Lacombe Market
The Friday Farmers Market in Lacombe is a go, but the Wednesday Market which coincides with Music in the Park is on hold.
“There is no confirm or expected date we will open. We work in coordination with the Lacombe Performing Arts Centre, who operate Music in the Park, and as long as they are not going, we will follow suit,” Buyar, who also manages the Wednesday market, said. “They obviously can’t currently run concerts in the park people will want to gather and sit and there are restrictions not allowing that.”
Buyar said if Music in the Park .receives permission to operate, the market could be ready to operate within two weeks. Currently, vendors are split on whether they would operate at this time given the pandemic
“We have some people who are glad we aren’t opening because they or their family members have health issues. We also have community members and vendors who are not in support of us not opening. Everyone has different perspectives. We all have different things in our lives that makes us look at the information differently,” Buyar said.
Buyar said the Wednesday Market wouldn’t be business as usual but said it would be nice to start up again this summer.
“We are looking at the precautions we feel will be necessary. Not every market is the same and they all have different things to consider,” she said.
She added, “For many of us — our vendors, myself and the committee — we are all friend with one-another and market season is like a family reunion. We are all excited at the possibility it may happen.”