I’ve been looking forward to the May 16 City Market kick-off for a while – there’s nothing like starting off your weekend with an outdoor stroll through the core, surrounded by the optimism of spring.
We arrived just after noon, and ran into Paula, who told us that opening ceremonies had taken place earlier that morning (you can see her photos here). Mayor Mandel was even on hand to welcome patrons to the ever-expanding market, which this year will play host to 95 different vendors.
It was great to see that organizers were finally able to shut down 102 Street to allow for pedestrian-only traffic. It seems they also put out more tables and chairs, great for those needing a seat to eat their vendor-gleaned goodies.
A stiltwalker and juggler made it even more festive
As we are departing for our vacation on Monday, we couldn’t stock up on too much. That said, as it is only mid-May, there wasn’t much fresh produce available anyway, save some winter vegetables and hot greenhouse bounty. The market featured mostly non-produce vendors, including those selling bedding plants, crafts, and prepared foods. I was happy to see En Sante Winery out, as well as Happy Camel – both of which we will patronize another day.
Buying tomatoes from Doef’s Greenhouses
We came across a booth for Original Fare and Keep Edmonton Original – while we are very familiar with both groups, we didn’t know about their VIP card program. After a VIP card holder has dined at an Original Fare restaurant, it is swiped, and at the end of the year, the accumulated “points” are converted to cash, and sent to the card holder in the form of a gift certificate that can be redeemed at any of the restaurants. We signed up on the spot. There is a link to the VIP card on the website, but it doesn’t seem to allow new registrants – I hope they add this function to their website.
We read on the Belua Designs blog that Fremly would be at the market today, so we brought Netty along for the ride for a photo opportunity. Unfortunately, Fremly had to stay behind today, but Netty was able to take a picture with all of the monsters that were still looking for a home.
Netty at the market
We also took the opportunity to drop off our contribution to the newly-established Greens, Eggs and Ham CSA. Mary Ellen clarified how it works – the $250 or $500 contribution to allow the farm to expand is essentially a deposit, so whatever I pick up from her stand that week at the market will simply be deducted from my initial contribution. If you frequent their booth anyway, why not consider supporting the farm even further? Further information here.
Netty stands guard over our duck eggs
The City Market is open rain or shine every Saturday until October 10. See you there!