The downtown Red Deer market draws in hundreds of shoppers to Little Gaetz Avenue each Wednesday afternoon. (Advocate file photo.)

Red Deer’s Downtown Farmers Market to open its 10th season next Wednesday

Free cupcakes, balloons will be given out

Get set for live music, locally grown farm produce, fresh baking — and craft beer.

Red Deer’s first Wednesday market of the season is preparing to hit Little Gaetz Avenue from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. on May 30 with free cupcakes and balloons to celebrate its 10th season.

Reusable tote bags will also be given away to the first 100 customers, said Piper McArthur, event co-ordinator and farmers market manager for the Red Deer Downtown Business Association.

This year there will be 25 vendor booths featuring everything combustible. “There are no crafters this year,” added McArthur— but there will be floral vendors, along with booths selling locally grown veggies, home-made jams and breads.

There will also be more of a craft beer and spirits selection than last year: “We have wine and two craft beer vendors,” said McArthur.

“People really love how curated the vendors are,” she noted, since only producers offering “super high-quality” goods are allowed into the Wednesday farmers market, which is smaller than Saturday public market at the Memorial Centre.

People who like stopping by after work have told McArthur they like that this market is easy to get in and out of, without maneuvering through a maze of aisles to find their favourite booths.

Many returning vendors have been part of the Wednesday market since it started, or shortly after. They include Innisfail Growers, Klein Farm, Cale’s Perogies, Markerville Berry and Vegetable Farm and West Country Kettle Corn.

As usual, a live concert will set the mood. Performing on the Ross Street Patio from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on May 30 is The Vintage 45’s band. Underside Pattern will take the stage on June 6, Wiklund vs Wiklund on June 13, Ryan Marchant on June 20, and Supertrucker on June 27.

The Wednesday market will run weekly to Oct. 3.

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