The Fernie Mountain Market kicked off its first event of the summer on Sunday, July 5. Despite a number of changes to allow for social distancing, the markets will take place every Sunday from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. throughout the months of July and August. Held in Rotary Park, the market brings forth vendors from all over British Columbia, selling everything from jewelry to meat pies, bath products to farm fresh produce.
Considered an essential service, the BC Association of Farmers Markets is helping markets develop ways to ensure safety throughout the pandemic. As such, a number of guidelines are in place at the market this year, including restricting access via a single entrance and exit system, placing limits on capacity, and requesting anyone with cold like symptoms to stay home. The hours of 9:45 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. are also currently reserved for shoppers with mobility challenges, as well as those most vulnerable to COVID-19.
Furthermore, no eating, sampling, or self serving is permitted at the market, and social distancing regulations are in place in front of tents. Most products are pre-packaged, all high touch surfaces are sanitized regularly, and the Rotary Park bathrooms are reserved for playground users only. Clients are urged to visit the Mountain Market website for a full list of COVID-19 guidelines.
In response to the pandemic, the market also developed an online platform to help the community access locally made and grown products. The website allows customers to scroll through and select products for delivery, and offers links to vendor websites. To access the online market, visit Localline.ca/mountainmarket.
“Farmers markets are important because they are essential food access retail outlets that allow residents to purchase food, while ensuring local farmer livelihoods,” said Dawn Deydey, Fernie Mountain Market manager.
Though organizers are unsure whether special event markets will occur later on in the year, those interested in future market dates or in becoming a vendor can learn more at Mountainmarket.ca.