• Stuart Benson

Wakefield Market moving

Vaccination site forces market to find new home

This year will mark the 24th anniversary of the Wakefield Market and its second year being held under COVID-19 restrictions. However, the fight against the virus will require the market to find a new home.

People at the Wakefield Market stood two metres apart outside the Centre Wakefield-La Pêche in May 2020. This year, the vaccination clinic in the community centre has forced the market organizers to find another place to hold the weekly market. Low Down file photo

The market is usually held throughout the warmer seasons, starting on Saturdays in May and running until the middle of October at the Centre Wakefield La Pêche. This year, the community centre is being used as a vaccination site and there just isn’t enough parking for both.

“The fact is, there isn't room with the volume of vaccinations they’ll be doing for us to be there and operate; it just doesn't make sense,” explained Richard Williams, president of the Wakefield Market’s board. “The parking lot is full on a usual Saturday for the market.”

Currently, vaccinations are being administered at the centre every Thursday through Sunday, but in the future the site will have the capacity to begin vaccinations daily.

Williams said he is currently looking for a new home for the market, and there are already a few options. They plan to make a decision by the end of the week on April 2.

“The site we end up at will dictate how many vendors we have,” Williams said. “But we're hoping we'll have something that will accommodate the full market.”

If last summer is any indication of how things will go this year, Williams said he won’t just have to worry about finding enough space to fit all of the vendors, he’ll also need room for the physical distancing requirements, as well as the designated entrance and exit points to direct the flow of customers.

The plan is for this year’s market to kick-off on May 15 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and to run each Saturday until Oct. 16. For more information or to get involved as a vendor or volunteer, you can visit marchewakefieldmarket.ca or email wakefieldmarket@mail.com.

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