City Market Report: Week 4

It was another busy Saturday in Edmonton! It’s great when there are so many options that you’re forced to choose – it just felt so alive in the city yesterday.

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104 Street before the storm

Though I know the City Market isn’t the only ongoing event in the core, it often feels to me like the farmers’ market is the constant, the backbone of downtown. It definitely bolsters the success of other complementary events, like the Downtown Edmonton Community League pancake breakfast, and the Al Fresco Block Party.

Speaking of the pancake breakfast, one of my first orders of business with DECL was to help out with the fundraiser on Saturday morning. All of the food had been donated by Sobeys, so all proceeds collected would be going towards the E4C School Lunch Program.

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Real “street” food

6:30 was an early wake up call, I’m not going to lie. But I’ve never been up early enough to see the street before the vendors started setting up, so it was neat to be there before the crescendo of energy. It also meant we were able to get things set up before the rush hit, with shoppers fuelling up before perusing the market.

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Patrick makes the first pancakes of the 2011 breakfast!

I wasn’t able to finish up my shift because I had to pop into work for a few hours, but I had great fun while I was there! Most patrons donated more than the requested $2 when they found out proceeds would be supporting children’s nutrition. I would imagine the same generosity would be present at the Al Fresco events.

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Our line cooks Alison, Patrick and Scott hard at work

After work, I was able to do my shopping. It was absolutely hopping at the market!

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Busy market

Similar to last week, there were lots of green to be seen in market stalls!

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Salad onions from Sundog Organics

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Spinach from Riverbend Gardens

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Mixed Heritage Greens from Greens, Eggs and Ham

As the Pride Parade would be travelling down 102 Avenue, some of the vendors had to be relocated. Because the Melcor parking lot between the Great West Saddlery and Armstrong Block had to be vacated for the Al Fresco festivities anyway, some vendors were able to set up shop in the lot.

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An almost craft fair

Although there were a few food-related vendors in this space, most of the merchants were selling arts, craft and clothing. It’s unfortunate the Melcor parking lot couldn’t be vacant on other Saturdays; while there are more crafters than the space could hold, it lent an alternative feel to the shopping experience a (and reminded me of how the largest market in San Francisco operates, with crafters grouped together across the street from the Ferry Building).

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In the shadow of two buildings

The Al Fresco wine and spirits tasting tent had also just opened up for the day.

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Outdoor tasting

At noon though, all eyes were on 102 Avenue, the route of the Pride Parade.

It was fantastic to be a part of, even just from the sidelines. The colours, the sounds, the dancing…the sheer joy of parade participants was infectious.

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A wedding float

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Balloons!

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Dancing!

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Councillor Ben Henderson

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Cowboys representing the Alberta Rockies Gay Rodeo Association

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Even puppies got into the spirit!

I ended my afternoon with a pulled pork Filibun from Filistix. It hit the spot – the tender, braised meat, with a hit of freshness from the cucumber and pineapple salsa.

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Pulled pork Filibun

We were planning on checking out the Al Fresco street food later in the day, but I needed a bit of a breather first. More to come!

4 thoughts on “City Market Report: Week 4

  1. Great post, Sharon! It was definitely the highlight of my day to be downtown on Saturday. And the Pride Parade was just the icing on the cake for me 🙂

  2. It was CRAZY downtown on Sat – it was extremely tight walking through the market at 11-ish… And the parade was great (my 2yo is a big fan of people dancing =).

  3. Ellen – sorry to not have run into you on Saturday!

    Natalie – definitely CRAZY, though with the estimated attendance, apparently not as crazy as last year!

    Valerie – hope you’re feeling better soon!

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