It was another successful year for the Fireweed Community Market at Shipyards Park, running from May 13 to Sept. 23.
Market manager Debbie Schwartz started in the position this year, but looking back at numbers from years past she said the market’s popularity continued to grow.
“For customers, we had 50 per cent more than last year and that’s people coming into the market to check it out,” said Schwartz. “Vendors we had about 20-30 per cent more than last year. Even with COVID-19, I think that we still had a really successful season if we use those as our indicators.”
Even compared to non-pandemic years, Schwartz said the 2021 market was a success.
“I looked at the numbers from a couple of years ago and it’s still significantly up,” said Schwartz. “I think it’s continued to grow.”
The first market in May hosted about 30 vendors, and that number steadily grew over the summer.
“It started to increase as the agricultural vendors were able to sell their produce,” said Schwartz. “By the end, our biggest day was 68 vendors. It grew quite a bit and stayed high. This year we averaged about 55 vendors a market.”
Part of the reason for the market’s success, even during the pandemic, has been people’s desire to support local.
“This is a great event they can go to once a week and they can get everything they need and do things with their family,” Schwartz said.
The Fireweed Market’s mandate, said Schwartz, is to support products that are 100 per cent made or grown in the Yukon or have substantial value-added in the territory.
If new prospective vendors want to join in, Schwartz said there is room for more.
“We’re limited by how many rental spaces we can lend out based on how many tents we have,” said Schwartz. “That’s our only limit. If someone were to come with their own tent, we’re not limited.”
Schwartz said the market is also limited by power as they only have so much access.
“As far as everyone who doesn’t require power, we’ve got room to expand in Shipyards Park,” said Schwartz. “We definitely welcome more applicants for next year.”
Contact John Tonin at email@example.com