The 26th season of the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market kicked off on April 3, and both organizers and vendors are anticipating a year far better than the last.
“I really believe that this year, the community support, supporting the locals, staying within the local community, will make a great market this year,” said market coordinator Francis Callaghan.
After having been disallowed by previous provincial health orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the market welcomed back several Okanagan artisans.
“This year, when we opened the market, we had artisans, farmers, food — everything,” said Callaghan. “It was like having the family back together again.”
On the market’s second day of the season, Wednesday, April 7, there were around 50 vendors, including everything from bakers to jewelry and more.
Food vendor Mark Wilkie of Sun Valley Kettle Korn said that he’s looking forward to a better market season.
“We’re all trying to make a go of it here,” said Wilkie. “Last year was a tough year to get through. Some of us made it; some of us didn’t, unfortunately.”
Artisan Kali Yanke of Okanagan Urban Jungle shared a similar sentiment.
“In 2020, with COVID happening, it made a lot of people realize just how important it is to support local more than anything,” said Yanke. “The support is going to be that much greater.”
Food vendor Lloyd Janzen of Lloyd’s Cinn Rolls said that supporting local is “really important.”
“I think it’s great for the local people to get something fresh and locally made,” said Janzen. “It’s supporting your local neighbour. The money stays here and is spread in the community.”
He added that he too expects this market season to be a great one.
“I’m hoping we have more tourists. Lots of tourists and nice weather — we’ll go flying,” he said.
Located at the corner of Dilworth Drive and Springfield Road, the Kelowna Farmers’ and Crafters’ Market will run until October and is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
COVID-19 health precautions are in place, including social distancing, the use of face masks and a one-way flow of foot traffic.