Saturday, May 21st, 2011 at 10:51 pm
City Market Opening Day 2011
I suppose the title of this post is not quite accurate, given the City Market has been running indoors at City Hall since mid-March, but I know many people (myself included) feel the market just isn’t quite the same unless it’s out on the street.
Back with a vengeance
Mack and I made were on hand for the opening celebrations at 9am (and really had no excuses given the market is right out our front door!). Edmonton Eskimo Aaron Fiacconi was on hand as the bell ringer to kick things off.
Aaron Fiacconi signals the opening of the market
Things were a bit overcast, but save for a sprinkle or two, the skies held up. I’m sure that was part of the reason why the crowds were massive today – both Mack and I remarked that neither of us had seen the aisles quite so full before. It’ll be interesting to see what the final attendance estimate will be, given last year’s equally jubilant start.
So many people!
We did find there was a lack music early on at the market, though. One of our favourites, Capital Sax, came out to play around 11 – hopefully, they’re out a little earlier next week.
There was also an impromptu dance performance!
There did seem to be an inordinate number of dogs today, with one tweeter remarking, “Unsure if downtown #yeg market is actually farmers mrkt or dog show.” Though it did mean watching where you walked to some extent, I’m a sucker for puppies, especially when they’re as cute as Dave and Kyla’s dog!
The organizers changed up layout, meaning we had to do some hunting for our usual vendors. We had to think some of the adjustments had to do with the fact that the construction on the north end of 104 Street, just before 103 Avenue, still hasn’t been resolved. Given the fenced-off area has been pretty dormant in recent weeks, it’s puzzling why the City wouldn’t have ensured the project’s completion before this date. It impacted at least one vendor, who was positioned away from the foot traffic, adjacent to the fence – hopefully the vendor will be relocated next week.
Construction at the City Market
Other than that, we had a great time perusing the stalls, visiting with vendors, running into friends, and of course, picking up groceries for the week!
The always smiling Patty Milligan (aka Lola Canola) – she’ll only be at the Market for the next few weeks, so load up on honey now!
Alan of Irvings Farm Fresh is always a good sport about pictures
We also had to start our day off with waffles from Eva Sweet
Marianne shows off her fabulous shopping basket that attaches to the back of her bike!
Cameron Hancock and Christy Menzies of Dreamin’ Green Farm are new City Market vendors. Located near Pigeon Lake, they describe themselves as the “home of the happy chicken”, and provide chemical-free pasture for their birds to roam around in. Their pens are moved on a regular basis, and at night, they are shut into a mobile pen for protection from predators. Look for them the next time you’re at the market!
Christy and Cameron of Dreamin’ Green Farm
Transcend Coffee was also out on the street selling their beans, and handing out free samples of coffee. Although their downtown cafe is literally just around the corner, it’s handy to be able to pick up beans along the way!
Although cellared root vegetables made up much of the produce offerings today, I was still surprised at the amount of other vegetables available today, so early in the season.
Tomatoes from Gull Valley Greenhouses
Edgar Farms asparagus (they had about 30 cases today, about half of what they would normally have)
Rhubarb and pea tendrils from Sundog Organics
Gerda of Green Valley Farm helps me pick out some onions
Bedding plants were also out in full force; though we didn’t pick up any decorative flowers for our balcony, we did buy one of those salad bowl starters from Kuhlmann’s that we had been eying up last week (I guess we should have jumped on it last week though; 7 days later resulted in a $5 increase in the price).
Beautiful display at Riverbend Gardens
A sea of hydrangeas from South Cooking Lake Greenhouses
Tomato plants galore from Sundog Organics
It was a great first day at the market – I’m looking forward to next week already. See you there!