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St. Albert Farmers' Market a sure sign of summer

St. Albert Farmers' Market runs June 10 to Oct. 7 with increased vendors, food trucks, buskers, a bouncy castle and programs for children.
A past photo of St. Albert Farmers' Market shows multiple vendors and bustling crowds. The St. Albert Farmers' Market opens Saturday, June 10, 2023, on St. Anne Street. FILE PHOTO/St. Albert Gazette

The City of St. Albert’s downtown core is reasonably quiet for much of the year. But every Saturday this season from June 10 to October 7, St. Anne Street will morph into the sprawling St. Albert Farmers' Market. 

The open-air market, the largest in western Canada, hosts 270 vendors. It is also a bustling economic driver attracting an estimated 20,000 visitors every Saturday. About 22 per cent of vendors are new this season. 

Whether one is a shopper or simply an onlooker, there’s a variety of products ranging from original art, home décor, crafts and jewelry to apparel, plants, woodworking and personal care. People are looking for new ways to serve meals, and prepared foods from diverse ethnic groups are on the uptick. Additional popular stalls include meat and seafood, baked items, fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as wines, spirits and beers. 

Sandwiched in between the spread of tented vendor stalls, the market hosts about a dozen food trucks and six buskers entertaining crowds on any given day. 

Lesley Obodiak, market manager, said the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce has done a big push in terms of increasing tourism by making sure its name is on visible platforms. 

“Word of our market has spread," Obodiak said. "Vendors in Edmonton and small communities are finding it’s worth the drive. And we’re getting more diverse products from diverse cultures.” 

This year the chamber focuses on providing more entertainment and points of interest for the entire family, especially young children. Immediately visible, a big bouncy castle returns to Perron Street. 

The second major initiative is Market Buds, an educational program sponsored by Alberta Farmers’ Market Association. Starting June 17, it will be held at St. Albert Public Library and aims to provide opportunities for children to engage in the local food system. Opportunities extend from cooking activities and tastings to gardening and arts and crafts. 

“It’s a two-hour program and it will teach children about local farms. There’s story time at the library and we’ll possibly do crafts as we have a large arts community,” said Obodiak. The free program is for children aged five to 12. Preregistration starts Tuesday, June 13 on the market website at

The market opens Saturday with a parade-style walkabout starting at Red Willow Place at 9:30 a.m. Fiddler John Calverley will lead dignitaries up St. Anne Promenade to St. Thomas Street, where a Visionary College vocalist will sing 'O Canada'.  

“It’s in the heart of downtown. It’s a beautiful location with beautiful shops and you get the added bonus of a beautiful green space,” said Shelly Nichol, chamber executive director. 

For ease of shopping, the Farmers’ Market website also features an interactive street map tracking vendors’ locations and a short biography of their products.    

Conscious of promoting inclusion, the Farmers’ Market also hosts a series of special events throughout the season. They are Pride Day, June 17; Canada Day, July 1; Bee Day, July 15; Yellow Ribbon Day, July 29; Rock’n  August, Aug. 12; Local Food Day, Aug. 19; Orange Shirt Day, Sept. 30.

The chamber also offers two free community booths per day for local non-profit organizations to educate the public about their programs. For additional information, contact the chamber at 780-458-2833. 

“The market is more than [to] pick up your groceries," Obodiak said. "It’s an event for the whole family.” 

Anna Borowiecki

About the Author: Anna Borowiecki

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