“Bigger and better than ever,” is Creston Valley Farmers’ Market manager Jen Comer’s prediction for the 2011 market.
“We have more vendors signed up than ever and they’ve been signing up early, too,” she said.
Once again, the market will be held on the south side of Millennium Park on 16th Avenue South. The larger market will be supplemented with a Wednesday afternoon market from 3-6 p.m. in June, July and August.
“The Town of Creston has been really supportive,” she said. “They are allowing us to close off Spirit Square on 11th Avenue between Canyon Street and the alley.”
Comer credits downtown businesses with helping the Wednesday market go ahead.
“We visited the businesses to tell them what we were planning and we got a very positive response,” she said. “There were no objections and it was really encouraging to know how supportive they are.”
The summer market will give priority to produce sellers but artisans, bakers and others are welcome, too. The area can accommodate about 20 vendors, she estimates.
Despite another cool, wet spring, Comer said there are already 15 vendors committed to be at the opening market on May 7.
“That’s double the estimates we made in January,” she said.
If the growth the market, operated under the umbrella of the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition, last year is any indication, Comer said the 2011 Saturday market could feature as many as 60 vendors.
“Folks interest in participating as vendors need only to make, bake or grow what they sell,” she explained.
One change this year is that vendors must book their space 24 hours before the market so setting up the area can be done more efficiently. Bookings can be made and information obtained by calling 250-977-5362 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We have tremendous support from throughout the community,” Comer said. “Kootenay Rockies Tourism, the Town of Creston and [Regional District of Central Kootenay] Areas B and C, and Interior Health have all provided grant money,” she said.
Those funds will be primarily used for brand marketing, signage and advertising.
She credits the College of the Rockies, Creston Valley Chamber of Commerce and the RDCK for sending Creston representation to the BC Association of Farmers’ Markets. A small, but dedicated, committee and a larger group of volunteers work with Comer to help make the market continue to grow, but more help is always welcome.
“The farmer’s market is a very positive thing for our entire community,” she said. “Anyone who is interested in helping in any way can give me a phone call or email message. The more help we have the more successful we can be.”