Campbell River’s Pier Street Farmer’s Market may have gotten off to a late start this year, but it’s warming up nicely to its new Cedar Street home.
Organizer Reid King said response to the new location has been positive.
“We’re doing really well,” he said. “Exceeding expectations.”
The weekly summer market normally starts in May in the Maritime Heritage Centre’s parking lot on Pier Street. But this year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic and public health guidelines, the market was forced to adapt or cancel the season.
King said the market’s usual location wasn’t going to work.
“We just weren’t able to get approval distancing-wise,” he said. “It’s too small.”
But the City of Campbell River stepped in to help them find a new location: enter the parking lot across Cedar Street from the community centre.
It’s a wide-open space that lets vendors and customers maintain proper physical distance. The only downside for Reid: there’s no power, so he’s been running generators.
The first week, the market saw close to 1,000 people walk through, the second week, around 750 and this week, around 850.
There’s more vendors joining every week. King said the first week, there were just 14 vendors. That grew to 22 in the second week and 27 the third week.
“So the farmers have caught on,” he said. “They’re going ‘Oh, finally.’ Everybody is happy.”
The market isn’t accepting any craft or artisan vendors this season, because they’d slow the flow of people too much, said King.
For the most part, he said, people have been good about following physical distancing rules and sanitizing their hands on the way in.
The Pier Street Farmer’s Market happens every Sunday between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. at the parking lot on Cedar Street across the road from the community centre. King said they’ll be there until at least Sept. 20, and if the weather is nice, they may be back for another week.