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Market on Main kicks off new season Saturday, but beer and wine sales still waiting on province
Market on Main kicks off a new season Saturday, but the sale of craft beer and wine will have to wait for new provincial regulations to come into effect.
The board of Market on Main recently voted to try out beer and wine sales and sampling once the regulations are in place, said Janis St. Louis, board chair.
“It’s up to each farmers’ market if they want this or not,” said St. Louis. “We have decided to try it and we might have only one or two vendors at a time because we’re not a huge market yet.”
The change to allow farmers’ markets to provide beer and wine sales and sampling was one announced by the provincial government in December following a consultation last year.
“I’ve already had some interest shown from a couple of wineries in the area that would like to set up a booth,” said St. Louis. “They’ll be able to sell wine by the bottle and some tasting as well.”
She emphasized that this will be for local craft wineries and breweries, since Market on Main is for locally grown produce and locally made crafts.
“We’re different from some markets in that everything is homemade or homegrown,” said St. Louis. “When you’re buying something at our market, you’re buying it from the person who made it as opposed to a public market where some people resell things.”
Saturday’s opening is at the square next to town hall and runs from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by local musician Rusty Copeland from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. following an opening ceremony.
The market is trying to increase the variety of vendors, said St. Louis.
She hopes more vendors will come forward to sell bedding plants and tomato plants during the initial weeks before fruits and vegetables start coming in.
In the market’s early weeks, vendors normally sell preserves, including jams, jellies and pickles, as well as crafts and jewelry they’ve made over the winter, St. Louis said.
The Saturday markets run until Sept. 27.
Again this year, a Wednesday evening market will be held at Gyro Park through the summer starting on July 2.
“We expect it will be much bigger,” said St. Louis, adding many people didn’t know about the Wednesday market last year. “I’ve already got the musicians booked for the entire two months on Wednesday nights.”
Kara Burton, vendor co-ordinator with Market on Main, said many vendors from last year will be back this year.
“New vendors usually come by and check us out beforehand and visit us at the market and come a few weeks later,” Burton said.
Several new vendors have applied to take part this year, but their applications are still awaiting approval by the board, she said.
“Our farm vendors won’t start coming at least until the middle of June when cherries are ready,” said Burton, adding the market hopes to attract more farm vendors.
The market draws a lot of tourists on Saturday mornings, but St. Louis said she would like to see more locals.
“It’s a nice place and nice atmosphere to have a coffee and sit down and enjoy music,” said St. Louis.