Another year is in the books for the Market at Red Deer.
The final market of 2019, which was the 49th season, was held in the Servus Arena parking lot Saturday.
Assistant manager Patrick Moffat said this year was bittersweet.
“We moved this year – it was nice coming back to our old location (at Servus Arena). The bad part was the weather. We didn’t have the greatest weather all season,” said Moffat.
“The rain … wasn’t too bad overall, but still, I do think it scared a lot of people away.”
The event was temporarily moved to the Memorial Centre parking lot while construction was underway on Servus Arena.
Farmers were affected by the weather as well, said Moffat.
Markets around the province “weren’t doing as well as they’ve done in the past, too. Maybe it’s the voice of economics … or it could have just been the weather,” he said.
Franbeta Farms co-owner Jonica Brault said growing fruits and vegetables was a bit of a challenge this year.
“This year was a little wet to begin with. We ended up having a little bit later crop than we intended, but we always make do with what we can.
“We planted some crops that do a little bit better with the water situation.”
Franbeta Farms has been coming to the Market at Red Deer for a long time.
“You can go to the grocery store, but who knows where that stuff is coming from and how old it is. There’s a freshness that we serve,” said Brault.
Kurt Bradshaw, from Beck Farms with Innisfail Growers, said this year’s harvest was “OK” considering the weather.
“A lot of the crops did pretty well. We’ll be a little short on storage this year, but all the stuff seems to be good quality this year,” Bradshaw said.
The family farm has been coming to the market since the 1980s, said Bradshaw.
“It’s one of our major markets. It’s one of our closest ones and one of our best. It gives the community a chance to support us. It shows how great central Alberta can be,” he said.
Moffat said it was an enjoyable year for everyone at the market, despite the weather.
“I don’t know what Red Deer would do without it. Where would we get to meet each other and enjoy each other’s company like we do at the Red Deer Market?”
Planning for next year’s season has already begun, he added.
“We’ll take a little bit of a break … and try to relax and decompress. Then we’ll be getting together to talk about what we can do to improve, the ideas that vendors have given us and the changes we need to make.
Next year will be the last season for market founder Dennis Moffat, Patrick’s father. The market will be passed down to Patrick and his sister Fiona.
A few events will be held throughout the 2020 market season to celebrate its 50th year.