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Lethbridge Farmer’s Market coming to new downtown location, COVID-19 protocols to be enforced

Downtown farmer’s market to open in new location in Lethbridge
WATCH ABOVE: Lethbridge's popular summer farmer's market typically takes up shop on Festival Square, but needed to find a new home this year. Eloise Therien has more on why the location change was made and what the market will look like amid COVID-19.

For the last 14 years, the farmer’s market has welcomed dozens of vendors and avid shoppers to downtown Lethbridge.

This year is no exception, but the familiar Festival Square on 6 Street South will not be host to the weekly summer event.

“We have the 3 Avenue reconstruction project taking place this year,” said executive director of the Downtown Lethbridge BRZ Ted Stilson.

That means the market had to be moved.

Organized by Exhibition Park and the BRZ, the outdoor market will take place every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on 2 Avenue, between 4 and 5 streets south.

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Located near Park Place Mall and just west of Galt Gardens, organizers are optimistic about the new location.

“It’s a great way to showcase some of these businesses like Java the Hut and Angry Monkey Tattoo and some of the other businesses on this street,” Stilson said.

“We’re excited to continue with this tradition in the downtown core.”

The market will officially begin on July 22 and Mike Warkentin, chief operating officer of Exhibition Park, says they will be barricading the area to manage one entrance and exit.

Customers are also asked to practice social distancing, just as they would in any other situation.

“We are encouraging mask-wearing, we are encouraging physical barrier with the vendors, and we’re encouraging touch-less payment methods,” said Warkentin.

“At this point we are not mandating those.”

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Exhibition Park also hosts a larger market on Saturday’s in its pavilions, which opened in May. Starting this coming weekend, vendors will be required to provide written documentation proving they are not sick with any symptoms of COVID-19.

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“We’ve put our increased protocols on all of our vendors,” Warkentin explained. “As the numbers of cases increased in the South Zone [in the] past couple of weeks, we’ve been monitoring that very closely, and we want to make sure we’re reacting in an appropriate way.”

The same protocols will apply to the downtown market, as some of the vendors attend both locations.

Warkentin says once a map of the downtown location is finalized, they will be able to determine how many people will be allowed to shop at a time.