The May long weekend means one thing in Red Deer: the return of the annual public market.
It'll be year two for the market at the Memorial Centre parking lot as construction of the new Servus Arena continues.
Dennis Moffat, Owner/Operator of the market, says most vendors are satisfied with the temporary location, but not all are sold on it.
"I would say about 90 per cent are quite satisfied with it. [However], the number of vendors is down about 20 per cent. It's just the location, there’s not as much room,” he laments.
Moffat says it’ll be a smoother operation this year as customers become more trained on where they are allowed to park and how to get there.
"We had some frustrating days [last year] that had to do with people parking in the wrong places and taking advantage of areas where they shouldn’t be," he says.
But according to Moffat, who’s ushering the market into its 47th year, the market is still as fun an enjoyable event as ever.
"It's a social event and not so much the shopping, but the visiting and seeing friends they haven't seen in a while. It's a nice thing to do on a Saturday morning,” he says. “Last year, we had a disastrous year for weather. It really didn't cooperate with us, so we've got our fingers crossed."
As for the market’s future, people clamouring for a return to the arena site will just have to remain patient.
"I drive by the new arena every day to check on the progress and they're coming along quite well,” Moffat believes. “It depends how fast they can finish it. There'll be people who say 'I don't want to move,' but there are always people like that."
The Public Market runs every Saturday until Thanksgiving from 8 a.m. until 12:30 p.m., rain or shine.
Market goers can get there by transit (Route #5), by walking or cycling on the connecting trail system or by driving. There will be a bike lock-up available for cyclists. Parking will be available at Lindsay Thurber High School, Camille J. Lerouge School and at Gateway Christian School parking lots.
More information is at RedDeerMarket.com.
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