The opening bell at the St. Albert Farmer’s Market will continue to clang at its new location, Servus Credit Union Place, for the remainder of the season.
Two weeks ago, St. Albert city council approved a plan to re-open Servus Place’s running track, fitness centre and three indoor arenas the week of July 19.
Beginning the week of Aug. 29, the Landrex Water Play Centre, gymnasium, indoor artificial turf, as well as fitness and recreation programming would resume with certain modifications.
The Saturday market, which currently attracts anywhere from 4,000 to 7,000 people depending on weather conditions, absorbs most of the 1,000 parking stalls at Servus Place.
The question on many minds was, “If there is a shortage of parking stalls, would the market need to change location?”
Jennifer McCurdy, president and CEO of the St. Albert and District Chamber of Commerce said, “We’re really fortunate to keep the market going at Servus Place during the COVID pandemic. The City of St. Albert was very supportive in assisting us.”
She added, “If there is an issue, we can look into Park & Ride the way we did it last year when the market was downtown. In 2019, we had fairly good ridership with people from Edmonton and visitors coming off the Anthony Henday.”
In an impromptu survey at the July 11 market, 42 per cent of visitors stated they were St. Albert residents while 58 per cent came from out of town. These figures suggest the market is one of the region’s sought out tourist destinations.
"We get people coming to the market, and then hopefully they will come back or stay for other things."
Even though Servus Place is opening its doors, only individuals that plan to exercise will be allowed in the facility, stated McCurdy.
“Servus Place is not opening for people to wander inside.”
Market attendees will be required to bring or buy snacks and beverages from vendors, and outdoor porta-potties located in four designated areas will be at their disposal, including an accessible one for people in wheelchairs by the front lineup. Social distancing and the use of hand sanitizer will stay in place.
“We’re so fortunate to bring the market to the community and we are grateful for the support from people. We encourage everyone to wear masks. Even though we control the number of people standing in a lineup, we want to keep all our vendors and visitors safe and healthy."
While some vendors accept only cash, others prefer electronic payments. Any individual needing additional funds will be able to access an outdoor ATM.
The St. Albert Farmers' Market is located at 400 Campbell Rd.