Craft vendors will be part of 2021 Saturday market

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Salt Spring Parks and Recreation is anticipating the return of the popular Saturday Market in the Park on April 3 with both food and craft vendors participating as a result of an update to COVID-19 health orders.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry rescinded her earlier order on March 18, with the result that non-food related vendors will now be allowed at outdoor episodic markets. Salt Spring’s market at Centennial Park will therefore open for the season as normally scheduled on the first Saturday in April with a range of vendors present. The market will remain at smaller capacity than in pre-pandemic years in order to meet safety guidelines.

“We think we will be able to have around 50 booths, depending on size, and there will be some overflow available on the boardwalk,” said Dan Ovington, the Capital Regional District’s Salt Spring parks and recreation manager. 

Ovington said the CRD has been accepting registrations for market space since February but had held off collecting fees from vendors since it wasn’t clear whether a market would be permitted or not. 

“We have had a lot of interest from both seasonal and day-use vendors,” Ovington reported.

Returning market coordinator Dawn Larden and other staff learned valuable lessons from last year’s truncated season on how to run a smooth experience this year, although there are some new things to get used to in the health order.

“COVID is a challenging time, and now the rules have changed again,” Larden said. “The new rules allow artisans back, which is excellent. But there will be changes such as one direction of flow, masks for vendors and visitors, and possibly the spacing between booths.”

“We think we will be able to have around 50 booths, depending on size, and there will be some overflow available on the boardwalk,” said Dan Ovington, the Capital Regional District’s Salt Spring parks and recreation manager. 

Ovington said the CRD has been accepting registrations for market space since February but had held off collecting fees from vendors since it wasn’t clear whether a market would be permitted or not. 

“We have had a lot of interest from both seasonal and day-use vendors,” Ovington reported.

Returning market coordinator Dawn Larden and other staff learned valuable lessons from last year’s truncated season on how to run a smooth experience this year, although there are some new things to get used to in the health order.

“COVID is a challenging time, and now the rules have changed again,” Larden said. “The new rules allow artisans back, which is excellent. But there will be changes such as one direction of flow, masks for vendors and visitors, and possibly the spacing between booths.”

For more on this story, see the March. 24, 2021 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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