The Squamish Farmers' Market turns 19 this year, and after two years of pandemic gloom organizers are excited to finally be free to give out samples, rub shoulders, and offer chef demonstrations.
There are roughly 60 vendors a week hailing from Squamish and places like Vancouver, 100-Mile House and Lillooet, and lots of new kid’s crafts to try out. Not only that: the Harvest Festival is coming back for the first time in four years.
“The pandemic really changed the experience of the farmer’s market considerably. We were at half capacity for social distancing, there was no music or demonstrations, all those social interactions were taken away, and it became more of a transactional process where people came to get their groceries and left,” said manager Megan Davies.
“Now it’s back to where it should be, where it’s community-based. You can meet friends and have coffee, walk around with snacks. People feel like they really want to spend time there now. It’s been a really good start to 2022.”
The market first opened on April 23, and runs every Saturday until December 10. It’s located downtown, next to Junction Park on Cleveland Avenue.
There is a huge swatch of fresh produce on display alongside meats and breads and prepared food like jam or chutney. Additionally, they have food trucks there every week and delicious desserts to enjoy after your meal.
Patrons can expect live music from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every week from a wide variety of local musicians.
“We have a really good database of local musicians we can choose from. Some are just doing it for practice for other events, and some do it as a way of meeting new people in the area and getting their music out there. It’s a whole mix of different genres and styles, which is interesting for the community because it’s forever changing.”
The unique thing about the Squamish market is they don’t have to worry about precipitation because their customers will come regardless. When it’s sunny, however?
“Our Vancouver vendors will ask ‘what if it rains? Nobody will come’ and we tell them don’t worry. When you need to be worried is when it’s a great bike day, and everyone’s out playing in the sunshine,” Davies said.
“We’ve found that the Squamish community is very loyal to the people they have. They’ve got a person they get eggs from, or bread from, and they stick to that.”
The market is one of the longest-running in the country, open 35 weeks a year. That’s a fact that Davies is proud of, and she thinks it demonstrates the impact the market has on the community.
“This helps grow Squamish into where we want to live and where we want it to flourish into.”
For more information, visit www.squamishfarmersmarket.com.