Central Albertans will only have one more chance to take in the Red Deer Public Market this year.
The weekly event, which takes place in the parking lot in front of Servus Arena, will wrap its 2022 season with a final outing from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
“It was a nice summer for us – a beautiful summer,” said Patrick Moffat, who co-manages the market with his sister Fiona.
“We had very few rainy days and our last few weeks at the market have been some of our best weekends.”
But the season didn’t fully meet their expectations in regards to how many vendors the market had, Moffat admitted.
“We thought that everything would thrive after COVID laid down a bit, but it really didn’t,” he said.
“We thought the number of vendors would increase, but that wasn’t the case. We’re not sure exactly why. We’ve checked other markets across the province and it seems to be a common theme.”
There was typically above 100 vendors throughout the season, which was the 52nd the market’s history. This year’s peak was about 130 vendors.
“In 2019 and prior, we were looking at over 200 most of the time. One of our biggest markets ever had 317,” Moffat said.
While the market didn’t experience a significant increase in vendors, there was a minor uptick from the past two years, which were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic, Moffat noted.
“All in all, the vendors that we had were excellent. They’re quality vendors and quality people,” he said.
“The best part of this season was we saw a lot of people come back, particularly some of the older patrons, but also some of the younger folks and families. Our numbers as far as the amount of customers we had were really good.”
The market, which runs from May long weekend to Thanksgiving long weekend each year, is set to return in 2023.
“We’re looking forward to next year,” Moffat said.
Patrick and Fiona’s father Dennis started the market 52 years ago. The sibling team took over the market in 2021.
For more information on the market, visit www.reddeermarket.com.