By Vivian Collings
The Haliburton County Farmers’ Market Association is bringing back a seasonal tradition by uniting the community by offering a one-stop opportunity to buy locally grown food and artisanal goods.
The Haliburton County Farmers’ Market will be open in Haliburton on Tuesdays, Minden on Saturdays, and Stanhope on Fridays starting this spring.
The markets will feature 41 vendors, all from Haliburton County or close neighbouring municipalities coming together to bring “food, art, culture, and community to the entire county,” said market manager Lauren Phillips.
“They are a meeting place for friends and families, they are a hub of art and culture, and they are a place where you can come and support your friends and neighbours by shopping locally and supporting small businesses. Thus, keeping money right here in our community,” she said.
This year, the markets will be back to pre-COVID locations in both Haliburton’s Head Lake Park along the pathway next to Head Lake, and downtown in Minden at the corner of Prince Street and Milne Street.
Phillips said, “We are excited about [moving back to our Pre-COVID locations] as it will make it easier for people with mobility issues to come to and enjoy our markets.”
The Haliburton location of the markets’ opening day is Tuesday, May 17 from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. The Minden market begins Saturday, May 21, and the Stanhope location will open Friday, June 17 at 1095 North Shore road at the Stanhope Community Centre.
Phillips said that customers and vendors are not required to wear masks while outdoors, but mask-wearing is still recommended by Public Health.
Buskers and not-for-profit booths are welcomed back for the first time since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Applications are available upon request: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ron Lofthouse, owner of Lofthouse Beeswax Company, said that he is excited to return as a vendor at all three market locations this season.
“We had 30,000 people through our markets last year, and we look forward to seeing them all again this year,” Lofthouse said. “It’s the people that make the markets really special for me. After [COVID-19 health measures] there was a loss of connection with people. I am looking forward to saying hello to the same people each week once again as well as seeing some new faces.”