After about two years in the making, the Gasoline Alley Farmers Market has opened.
“We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time, and I think Red Deer has too,” general manager Shauna Fisher said during opening day on Saturday.
“Just talking to different people, they’ve been excited to have a market that’s year-round, that they can get to know, and indoors at that.”
COVID-19 precautions are currently in place at the market, including a limit on the number of people in the building, and hand-sanitizing stations.
“We’re really cautious of COVID at this time, so we’re limiting the amount of people in the building. We’re making sure that everything is wiped down and sanitized, and we ask that people don’t come in if they feel unwell,” she said.
The first day of the farmers market, which runs every Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., featured about 50 vendors from all over Alberta.
Some of the items available include wine, coffee beans, baked goods, meat, fresh produce, art and clothing.
“Alberta needs this. These are small, independent business people and they keep Alberta going, especially because we’ve had such an economic downturn with our oil and gas.
“It’s so exciting to see so many small business people going out there and working hard,” said Fisher.
“This is not an easy job for them at all – they’re giving up weekends to do this. It’s wonderful to see the diversity Alberta’s economy has, and I think supporting local is huge.”
Construction on the facility, which is the only purpose-built farmers market in Alberta, began in April, said Fisher.