Farmers’ Market set to re-open Saturday at Town Park

·3 min read

After three months of living with COVID-19, the re-opening of the Aurora Farmers’ Market last year was one of this community’s first hints of a return to normalcy.

Now, well into our second year of living with the virus, the Market is set to once again be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Aurora Farmers’ Market is set to re-open with new and returning vendors this Saturday, May 1, at 9 a.m. at Town Park with strict health protocols firmly in place.

Open to a limited number of people at any one time, protocols will be very similar to how the Market was operated last year, with a controlled entrance off Larmont Street and an exit onto Wells Street, with vendors limited during lockdown to farmers, produce vendors and other food purveyors.

“All safety precautions are being followed to the T,” says Councillor Sandra Humfryes who serves as liaison between Council and the Farmers’ Market. “Last year, I am proud to say that it was the first year [of our protocols] and this Market was the very first market to re-open in York Region. Many farmers’ markets used our template to open theirs.

“I have to commend this Farmers’ Market executive, the Chair, and Town staff in Parks and Bylaw who have been unbelievably supportive. I know without staff’s support and this amazing executive we wouldn’t have been so fortunate. This year we need it.”

Indeed, with many of our favourite outdoor activities once again on the backburner until health restrictions allow, the Farmers’ Market is, for many, a much-needed outlet on a Saturday morning.

“People really have to go out somewhere and the Farmers’ Market is the place to go – it’s the only place to go!” says Market Chair Cathy Williams with a laugh.

Market Board Member Paddy Honey shares this sentiment, noting, “Every weekend the customers would tell us how much they appreciate this place, how uplifting it was. It helped them with the COVID fight and we had 18,000 customers last year and not a single COVID case was traced back to this Market.”

The Market this year will again have very strict protocols to maintain to ensure it can open safely. The Board sees this as a team effort and they are doing their utmost to make sure it is a success.

“They will move mountains to make sure it opens safely, perfectly and everyone is just so excited,” says Councillor Humfryes.

New this year is an increased push to make it a cashless market. Although some vendors will accept cash, almost every vendor has been outfitted with tap for debit and credit cards. Customers are also discouraged from touching produce offered by farmers and instead to point to the items they want for vendors to bag it all up.

Among the new vendors this year will be Red Thread Brewery which will be taking orders at the Market and delivering product later, food vendor Mad Mexican, Chuckleberry, Fabulicious Taste, and the Social Pup will be on-hand selling treats for our four-legged friends.

“We would love to see 1,000 people come through on our opening day, that would be amazing,” says Ms. Williams.

For more on the Aurora Farmers’ Market, including up-to-date information on COVID protocols and any changes to plans post-press time, visit theaurorafarmersmarket.com or call 289-796-1825.

Brock Weir, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Auroran