By Stephen Dafoe
Morinville – A Friday tradition is returning to town next week. The Morinville Farmer’s Market will reopen June 1 and will run every Friday until September from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.
Market Manager Korien Sampson is excited to get things rolling once again after a highly successful 2011 market season. “This year we are looking to have more vendors than we did last year,” Sampson said, adding last year saw an average of 29 vendors coming out each week. “Right now I’ve got 32 applications and counting. Applications are still coming in. We’re really expanding.”
Sampson said many regulars will be back selling everything from honey to hotdogs and a new vendor selling truffles is set to come on board the second or third week in.
As was the case last season, the Farmer’s Market will take place in the Parish Hall parking lot. Although originally a move of necessity due to the renovation of St. Germain Place on 100 Avenue, Sampson said the change in venue was well received by everyone. “The customers and vendors were thoroughly impressed with the market switch last year,” Sampson said, adding vendors were split at the town Hall location with some in the front and others in the back parking lot, something that customers found confusing. “Parking was the huge issue for a lot of customers.”
The move to the Parish Hall parking lot allowed Sampson to arrange her market in a circular configuration so all vendors could be easily seen by all customers. “It created a little bit more of a family atmosphere,” she said. “They found they got a whole lot more customers simply because you could see all the vendors all in one shot.”
Adding to the success of last year’s market were special events from roaming entertainers to a end-of-season chile cook off. Sampson said the chile event is back by popular demand and will take place Sept. 7. Additionally, Sampson is hoping to have a busker’s festival during the summer. “There’s still some details that I have to work out, but I’d like to do that,” she said. “I’m also thinking of making a more family atmosphere. I’m hoping that I can get in a little petting zoo for the kids during that festival. We’ll see what else we can do just to make it a real big family atmosphere.”
Funds support local cause
While shoppers support local and regional businesses by patronizing the Morinville Farmer’s Market, Sampson said people may not know they are also helping the Morinville Community Library. The market is run by the Friends of the Morinville Public Library, a group who have long supported the community library by purchasing items needed there.
“The library, now with the expansion, has a lot of added costs,” Sampson said. “When we do this [market], it really helps out with the library a lot.”
Sampson is hoping people will come out and support the Morinville Farmer’s Market once again this year. Farmer’s Market updates are available through their Facebook page at facebook.com/MorinvilleFarmersMarket or through their Twitter account – @farmmarketmori.