TRURO – The Truro Farmers’ Market will celebrate its first-year anniversary at its new home Saturday.
The market moved into the old fire hall, on Young Street, in 2011. However, renovations were not completed until 2012, which is when many new vendors got involved and the first official year of regular business began.
“It’s been a great year and we’ve had a lot of positive feedback,” Jamie Alcorn, market manager, told the Truro Daily News. “The feedback is that there’s a sense of community here … and people love the good music, the prices are cheaper than the Halifax market and it’s friendly.”
On Saturday, the market will be open from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. A cake-cutting ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. Special guest speakers will be present, free ice cream and cake will be given, kids’ games and Brad the Balloon Guy will be available and Andy and Ariana will provide musical entertainment. In addition, a free market coin, valued at $5, will be given to customers sharing their 33rd birthday, which is how many years the Truro market has been operating.
Alcorn said the relocation of the market from Outram Street, behind The Salvation Army, to Young Street has been attracting larger crowds in the past year. In a recent news release, market president Lloyd Mapplebeck said there’s a significant increase in customers.
“In 2012, the Truro Farmers’ Market customer visits totalled right around 55,000. This year, we are extending our season by another month and project our customer visits to reach 70,000,” said Mapplebeck.
Alcorn estimated attendance has hit the 2,100 mark on a given Saturday at the market, which has more than 45 vendors, selling a wide range of products, including organic and low-spray vegetables, berries, cheese, honey, eggs, meat, herbs, flowers, trees, preserves, baked goods, pottery, woolen and sewn handcrafts, jewelry, fair trade coffee, samosas, cupcakes, artisan breads and handmade soaps.
During a recent local market study, that will be part of a provincial market study, many people indicate they go to local markets “to support local food movement and small businesses.”
The market is open until Dec. 21 and is expected to re-open in April. There are no current plans, said Alcorn, to immediately expand to a year-round venture.
Alcorn said a personal goal for the near future would be to have a fish truck on site and increase events, possibly a food-based festival, and trying to rent out the market’s community space on a more regular basis.