On Saturday, vendors at Lethbridge Farmers’ Market set up their booths for the last time this season after operating every week since May, but some have the opportunity to sell their wares year-round.
Karen Taylor, nicknamed ‘The Jam Lady’, had an emotional last day after more than 35 years selling her product on the market.
“This is the place to come in the summer,” he said. “I really like it (and I’m going to miss it).”
Vendors sell everything from vegetables and fruits to clothing and jewelry. Karissa Varney, a regular shopper who attends almost every weekend, said it feels good to support locals in this way.
“It takes a lot of work to put this all together, and it’s good that we can come together as a community and show our mutual support,” he said.
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Even though the market is coming to an end, some vendors will have the opportunity to continue selling their products throughout the year in the newly formed YQL market.
“We had heard across the vine many years in a row from market vendors and the general public saying ‘you know, Lethbridge needs a year-round market,’” explained co-owner / operator Helen Manzara.
Manzara, who has several years of experience as a wine vendor, said the YQL Marketplace will host a mix of full-time, part-time and casual vendors in the indoor space, located on South 3rd Avenue in the former Salvation Army building.
“Every time you walk through the door, you will see someone different, but you will also see your good and faithful salespeople,” he explained.
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YQL Marketplace will be open on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays throughout the year starting October 15. Manzara said it was important for them to have flexible hours to accommodate those who have other obligations.
“There are not many markets open on Sundays, so we said we would open on Sundays,” he explained.
The market does not qualify for the COVID-19 restriction waiver program across the province, which means that capacity will be restricted to one-third of the building’s fire code and no proof of vaccination is required.
According to Manzara, a full list of vendors should be posted on Facebook before each weekend’s markets.
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