After nine years, the farmers' market has returned to West Lincoln.
From 3 to 7 p.m. on Fridays, the West Lincoln community centre parking lot will serve as a farmers' market, hosting approximately 20 vendors in its initial stages.
Locally grown fruits and vegetables, meat, poultry, pet treats, tapestry and live entertainment will be available at the market.
Given the market is outdoors, visitors are not required to wear masks so long as they maintain physical distance, which is regularly enforced at the market. Vendors are required to wear masks at all times and sanitizer is available at the entrance of the market.
One such vendor is Hal Grant, known also as Halaloo, who operates a balloon art booth. Grant has been making balloon art for over 25 years, performing at parties, other farmers' markets and even for Smithville Christian High School.
Grant said he was happy to see the market return to West Lincoln. “When I was offered the chance to do it in Smithville, where I'm from, I said it only makes sense.” Though he regularly has a set fee, at the West Lincoln farmers' market, his booth runs on tips.
Grant credited Michelle Seaborn with the offer to operate his both. Seaborn, the manager of the market, has managed several others in the area, including Grimsby’s farmers' market.
Seaborn said that the province’s move into Step 3 of its reopening was a key success point for the market, as it allows for patrons sample food and drinks, which Seaborn said is vital for vendors who make food or drink products.
Seaborn said the decision to resurrect the market came from West Lincoln council.
Coun. Cheryl Ganann was in attendance at the market. She said the region, the chamber of commerce, and economic development staff from the township had been looking at resurrecting as part of their strategic plan since 2018.
According to Ganann, town staff's discovery of the province’s rural economic development grant helped fund the establishment and operation of the market.
With the community centre playing host to market, she said she hopes to see the centre solidified as a community connection point.
“There never was a really good space where people could also park, wander and visit and not feel like you had to rush in and get out again,” Ganann said, as she reflected on previous farmers' markets in the township.
“We are a farming community, so we're very happy to support local farmers and growers,” Ganann said.
Moosa Imran, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grimsby Lincoln News