White Rock North Delta farmers' markets kick off this weekend

White Rock North Delta farmers’ markets kick off this weekend

WHITE ROCK and NORTH DELTA – With the 2014 White Rock Farmers’ Market set to kick off this weekend, those looking forward to picking up a bottle of wine with their artisan cheeses could be doing so within a month’s time.

According to market manager and city councillor Helen Fathers, that’s when she predicts the provincial government will finalize the rules surrounding alcohol sales at farmers’ markets in B.C.

"We’ve got everything ready to go and we’re just waiting for the government to come out with it," said Fathers. "As soon as we have that, which I think will be by mid-June, we’ll see wine, beer and maybe distilleries at the market."

The market will kick off its 2014 season this Sunday (May 25), offering various artisan goods, food items and fresh produce at Miramar Plaza, 15154 Russell Ave. The market will run every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. until Oct. 12.

In North Delta, Firehall Farmers’ Market also opens for the season this coming Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Firehall Centre for the Arts, 11489 84th Ave. The market will be held there on alternating Sundays through the summer months.

In North Surrey, Surrey Urban Farmers’ Market opens June 11 at its new home, on the plaza outside the new city hall, on Wednesday afternoons from noon to 5 p.m.

In White Rock, Fathers said she understands the government taking its time to roll out liquor sales at farmers’ markets.

"The government just wants to make sure the marketplaces aren’t flooded with one type of vendor, so I think they’ll probably make it a percentage thing where only a certain number can be wine or alcohol vendors," she said.

And just to clarify, Fathers noted that the initiative would simply permit vendors to begin selling bottled alcohol and not allow people to walk around with a beer or wine.

"We’ve had complaints from people thinking it was going to be open alcohol at the market but that’s not the case," she explained. "People might be able to sample the alcohol but you can’t walk around with an open drink at the market."

New this year will be the market’s participation in a nutrition program hosted by the B.C. Association of Farmers’ Markets that will help lower-income families purchase fresh groceries, in a partnership with the Sources organization.

cpoon@thenownewspaper.com

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