Last Friday the Lacombe Farmers’ Market held its first market of the season and its first since moving to a new location at the arena parking lot.
While Manager Kit Glimm said it is difficult after only one market to judge if the new location will be successful, she added that the first market went well and she is confident now that the Lacombe Farmers’ Market can continue to be successful in the new area.
“I think it will work out fine,” said Glimm. “We have to make it work. That’s all there is to it.”
After being told by the City the Farmers’ Market would not be able to operate at Michener Park as usual this season due to nearby construction, Glimm and the members of the Lacombe Farmers’ Market committee were concerned that the Market would suffer in its new location, largely due to a perceived lack of space.
However, after seeing how the logistics of the Market could work firsthand, Glimm said she was much less apprehensive.
She added the Market also utilized some space inside the curling rink at the arena, freeing up more stalls for vendors outside which will help make more space.
Traffic was another concern that Glimm had previously about moving closer to downtown Lacombe.
Visitors to the Market on Friday would have noticed that traffic was more congested than usual around the arena but Glimm admitted that traffic often became quite congested during Market at Michener Park as well.
Glimm went on to say that vendors were generally impressed with the new setup of the Market, even though there was confusion initially on how it would all work out this year.
She added this will likely be the case for the first few markets.
“They were quite pleased with it,” said Glimm.
“It’s kind of confusing for the first couple markets – where to place everybody. But we’ll just have to make the best of it.”
Working with arena staff was also a positive experience for the Market. Glimm said the arena staff was both helpful and cooperative.
Some improvements that are still needed at the Market are improved signage.
Glimm said there was no signage at Michener Park stating the Market had moved and all the blue signs around the City directing visitors to the Market still point to Michener Park as well.
Also, shoppers should be reminded too that pets are not allowed at the Market because of health regulations regarding food, said Glimm. She added that service animals are an exception and notices will be posted at this week’s Market to that effect.
Glimm said last Friday saw a fair turnout for the Market, even despite the chilly weather.
“It was really cold and I was surprised we had as good a turnout as we did.”
She added that is largely due to the dedicated following the Market has gained after running for 35 years and thanked all the Markets’ supporters for their backing.
“We’ve got some real loyal customers. It’s good to know that they support us, wherever we are.”
Not only were there lots of shoppers, there were nearly 50 vendor booths set up at the arena as well.
Another similar outcome is expected at this week’s Market, added Glimm.
“We’re expecting another good vendor turnout this Friday. Hopefully it will be a little warmer.”