Posted on 19 September 2012 by Keith Lacey
Considering the unparalleled success of this year’s Osoyoos Market on Main, organizers can’t wait for next year only days after the market closed for 2012.
“This has been, by far, our best year yet,” said Market on Main board chair Janis St. Louis, speaking early Saturday afternoon minutes before the 2012 market prepared to close down. “We’ve been doing this for 15 years now and this year we managed to have 40 vendors, which is very impressive for a farmer’s market in a town of this size.”
One of the main reasons she joined the board and became involved in Market on Main three years ago was to introduce and ensure local and regional musicians would not only be showcased, but also attract larger crowds to the market, said St. Louis.
Having musicians and bands perform every Saturday from when the market opened in May until this past weekend has played a significant role in drawing people to the market, she said.
“Our board not only wanted to bring in music, but we also voted to start paying them, which would ensure the groups or musicians we had booked would show up on time and perform,” she said. “It worked out very well as they helped draw in large crowds and they were able to expose their musical talents to a lot of people.
“Having music every Saturday played a big role in bringing in these record crowds to the market and we’ll be continuing with that again next year. We also have plans to have those musicians and bands we’ve booked play a little earlier and stay a little later instead of just playing for a couple of hours.”
More fruit and vegetable vendors than ever before rented booths at the market as did many craftspeople and artists, said George Lussier, who shared site manager duties with Larry Gableman for this year’s Market on Main.
The response from the vendors was positive throughout the entire season, said St. Louis.
“We’re a member of the B.C. Farmers Market Association and the mandate of our organization is homemade and home-grown and almost all of our food vendors produce homemade and home-grown products,” she said. “Next year, we’re going to expand that mandate and will be more carefully checking with every vendor to ensure the food and products they’re selling are homemade and home-grown.”
St. Louis praised Lussier and Gableman for doing an outstanding job this year as they’re on-site around 6 a.m. every Saturday helping vendors set up their booths and ensuring the site is ready for the hundreds of visitors.
St. Louis said she will be approaching the market’s board of directors to suggest renting the Town of Osoyoos community bus every Saturday morning and travelling up and down Main Street to bring visitors to the market every Saturday starting next May.
“We have this community bus and what I would like to see is the bus travelling to all the hotels along Main Street and up to Spirit Ridge and bringing people and then dropping them back off after the market closes,” she said. “I think this would be a great way to expose the market to all of our visitors during the summer and bring in more people than ever.”