Michael Tomalty performs a few tricks in front of his booth at the Red Deer Public Market Saturday.

Public market opens for the season

Summer got started in Red Deer the way it does every year, with large parts of the city descending on the Red Deer Public Market.

Summer got started in Red Deer the way it does every year, with large parts of the city descending on the Red Deer Public Market.

At the market since 4 a.m. Saturday morning, Dennis Moffat surveyed the set up, chatting with vendors and soaking in the atmosphere.

For 44 years now he has been the driving force behind the public market that takes over the Red Deer Arena’s parking lot every Saturday through the summer.

“People love the market,” said Moffat. “It’s their market and all I do is run it and do the work.”

Dressed in his trademark overalls and cowboy hat, he carries a board with a list of all the stalls and vendors who have set up for the morning

“We didn’t turn anybody away today, that’s a big plus,” said Moffat. “It’s always this mad on the first day. But it’s an exciting mad.”

Though he was unable to get everyone in to where they wanted to be, with the help of his son and some other helpers they were able to get everyone in and setting up shop early Saturday morning.

“The turnout is exceeding my expectations,” said Moffat. “Everybody seems happy to be back.

“They’re anxious, after that long winter they’re anxious to get out and breathe some air.”

Vendors ranged from food to clothes to antiques to lawn decor to plants to sports memorabilia and everything in between.

“You can almost buy anything,” said Moffat. “Except illegal things.”

With the parking lot of the Red Deer Arena packed full of vendors and some having to set up on 43rd Street, which is blocked off for the market, the place was overflowing with merchants.

Moffat thinks in the future they may need to start using a waiting list just due to the volume of people wanting to set up shop.

Getting the market ready is a lot of work. Moffat said potential vendors start calling in December wanting booths and he averaged about six people a day calling, wanting to get in the market.

“Last year we had almost perfect weather,” said Moffat. “One day we had rain and still managed to have a good market.

“We’re like farmers, it all depends on the weather.”


Just Posted

Man badly injured in off-road vehicle collision on Saturday

Incident happened in Mountain View County about 10:50 p.m.

Trump-Putin summit opens without talk of election meddling

HELSINKI — With a wink and a slouch, respectively, President Donald Trump… Continue reading

Ultra-light helicopter pilot killed in crash near High River

Police say the pilot of an ultra-light helicopter is dead after crashing… Continue reading

Heat warning in effect for Central Alberta

Environment Canada has issued a heat warning for Central Alberta. Residents in… Continue reading

Westerner Days parade set for Wednesday in downtown Red Deer

Over 30,000 people are expected to line up the streets of downtown… Continue reading

CFIA inspects after video shows pigs crammed into B.C. transport truck

The video shows pigs piled on top of one another in a transport truck on a “sweltering” hot day last week

Croatia gears up to give heroes’ welcome to World Cup team

ZAGREB, Croatia — Fans are pouring in from throughout the country as… Continue reading

Statelessness a hurdle for some rescued Thai boy

MAE SAI, Thailand — The 12 boys and coach of the Wild… Continue reading

Lobbying commissioner rejects complaints against firearms panel member

OTTAWA — A federal watchdog has dismissed complaints that a mass-shooting survivor… Continue reading

CREA reports June home sales down 10.7% from year ago, but up from May

OTTAWA — The Canadian Real Estate Association says the number of homes… Continue reading

Red Deer Royals place second at Calgary Stampede parade

Royals depicted life in forest and portrayed destruction by human beings

Muslim candidates running in record numbers face backlash

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. — A liberal woman of colour with zero name recognition… Continue reading

Former UK Cabinet secretary seeks new Brexit referendum

LONDON — A former U.K. Cabinet minister from the ruling Conservative Party… Continue reading

Man killed by Chicago police ran away, reached for waist

CHICAGO — A man killed by Chicago police had a gun in… Continue reading

Most Read

Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month