As many of Strathmore’s local businesses and community groups prepare to start hosting Christmas markets, the Strathmore Royal Canadian Legion #10 branch will also be joining in on the hype for the holidays.
Though unlike previous legion markets, they will be hosting at the Harvest Healing Church due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Doug Earnshaw, speaking on behalf of the legion, said there’ve been some distinct changes from the way the event was previously held.
“Prior to COVID-19, we did run monthly markets here. My wife, Kathy, she was the one organizing them for the legion,” he said. “It’s been so up and down over the last couple of years. Some periods we’ve had to cancel because (of) the total restrictions (and) with the vaccine passport, we’re kind of limited (in) where we could do it.”
According to Earnshaw, the market will feature mostly homemade goods such as knitted wear, woodwork and crochet. The majority of the vendors, he added, are locals, as well as members of the legion.
There is a vendor fee of $25 per table, which the Harvest Healing Church is allowing the legion to keep as proceeds for the organization. As of Nov. 11, there were 14 tables registered to attend the market.
“The Harvest Healing Church was nice enough to let us keep the vendors fee and we’re going to reciprocate a little later down the road to help them out,” said Earnshaw.
This is the first occasion where the legion is hosting their market at the church, simply due to the circumstances of the provincial health restrictions.
The legion is hoping for restrictions to lift enough to be able to host similar markets again on a monthly basis.
“There’s always challenges. The COVID-19 restrictions is the biggest one right now. Sometimes you get vendors that’ll sign up and then not be able to attend for various reasons at the last minute,” Earnshaw explained.
“We didn’t get to have one (market) last year. We had a plan and then we had to cancel it because of the restrictions but (we’re) hoping since there’s a lot more people vaccinated now, they’ll feel more comfortable coming out and partaking in the market and other activities.”
The money raised from the market for the legion will go towards its regular operations – something Earnshaw added can potentially have a noticeable impact for the organization.
The market will be taking place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 27 at the Harvest Healing Church. Masks will be required.
John Watson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Strathmore Times