Wednesday farmers’ market takes over part of Victoria Street

The Wednesday farmers’ market looks different beginning today, with the 400-block of Victoria Street partly shuttered.

Kamloops Regional Farmers Market manager Greg Unger said the city approved a permit to close part of the street for the midweek market, in order to improve COVID-19 safety protocols. It will allow for more space between vendors and physical distancing by customers.

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“The main reason to do it was to address concerns from the public about COVID-19 safety,” Unger told KTW, noting Wednesday markets will now resemble a smaller version of the Saturday market, with the street closure.

Unger said it has been an ongoing process to try and keep the public safe amid the pandemic.

Protocols in place include customers asked to queue up at entrances and follow traffic flows, vendors having WorkSafe plans — including physically distancing from the public, putting up plexiglass barriers or wearing a mask — and volunteers and hand sanitizer stationed at every entrance.

Unger said the market has experienced volunteer burnout this year and could use a few extra sets of hands to act as greeters, remind people of safety protocols, offer sanitizer and help to set up and take down the market.

“Much like other businesses have been experiencing, it’s been a

stressful year for a lot of people,” Unger said.

The number of market visitors are down from previous years, with Unger noting Saturdays see about about half of the people compared to previous years.

The Wednesday numbers were unknown, but were also noted to be down anecdotally. As a result, there is plenty of produce available.

Right now, corn and berries are in season.

Unger asked for patience from the public and advised those who attend to wear a mask and “remember that these people are your neighbours.”

“Don’t forget that we’re all trying our best,” he said.

“It’s up to everyone to be careful.”

Motorists are advised of the temporary road closure between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Wednesdays for the market and are asked to follow traffic control in place during that time.

The Wednesday market runs from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and the Saturday market runs from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

The market runs to the end of October.

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