The Estevan Farmers’ Market is looking forward to the start of another season of Christmas sales.
The first sale will be held Nov. 21 and will be held Saturdays until Dec. 19, and will be from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Vendors will be in an area of the Estevan Market Mall between Sport Chek and Nutters, so that the markets can adhere to COVID-19 guidelines and maintain six feet of social distancing.
Marilyn Simons, the incoming manager of the farmers’ markets, said the mall’s hallway would not provide them with enough space for social distancing if they had tables on both sides of the hallway and people walking.
“This was the solution to be able to keep the market going, and to keep safety at the first and foremost,” said Simons.
There will be one entrance and one exit for the farmers’ market area, and there will be hand sanitizer at the entrance and at every table. Guiding arrows will be on the floor for customers to follow, and the number of people entering and exiting will be limited to maintain social distancing.
Approximately 20 vendors can be accommodated each week.
“Those vendors will be wonderful vendors. They range from baking and honey and decorated sugar cookies, to crafts, macramé, dream catchers, jewelry, Tupperware, jams and pickles, coins and lots of stuff that we will be having,” said Simons.
Handmade soap, upcycled denim products, beeswax wraps, 31 bags, alpaca products, perogies, empanadas, quilting supplies, bath bombs, flax bags, Grow with Me clothes, facemasks, handmade baby items, crochet items, homemade chocolate, weighted blankets, books, and artwork will also be part of the sales.
If a vendor can’t make it, then the farmers’ market won’t be able to find a replacement, so there might be some weeks with under 20 vendors.
“It looks like we have most people coming every week. There’s the odd one that has a scheduling conflict,” said Simons.
The sales are a great opportunity for people to tackle their Christmas shopping and to purchase some of their other Christmas-related items.
“We find that the diversity of all the different tables that we have we think will be appealing to the Estevan community. We are very fortunate that Estevan supports local and shops local, and they have been for so many years,” said Simons.
During the sales that ran from mid-May to early October at the mall’s parking lot, they were well supported by the public.
Simons takes over as market manager on Jan. 1, 2021. She has helped out at markets in Lampman and Oxbow in the past, and has been part of the farmers’ market in Estevan as a vendor as well, so she understands the value of supporting and shopping from local businesses, and the importance of the markets for local businesses.
"These vendors are small businesses," said Simons. "Some do this full time so by supporting them, it helps them feed their families. The Mall and The Farmers Market know the importance of supporting local and keeping everyone safe. We are putting in all measures to balance both."