Community makes market strong

The Rimbey Farmers’ Market is just one year removed from its award winning 2009 season when was recognized for its tremendous growth.

Dorian Rondeel picks up a box of delicious looking peppers at the Rimbey Farmers’ Market. There is much to see and purchase at the market every Saturday.

By Adam Eisenbarth

Every Saturday morning throughout the summer, Pas-Ka-Poo Park is transformed into a one-stop shop for a wide variety of quality products.

“I think what makes it special, is there’s the whole support from the community. They all go there to shop, they go there to visit, go for breakfast, it’s really a social market,” says market manager Gayle Rondeel.

The market, which won the 2009 Rise and Shine Award, has shown innovation in quickly becoming a top market in the area. The award was won for its rapid growth from a period in which the market was very small, with about nine vendors.

At one point it looked as if the weekly event was about to die off completely.

“It was at that point I think,” said Rondeel who went to work recruiting vendors and has since helped grow the event to what it is today, a market with typically more than 40 vendors each week.

“It’s what I envision a market should be. There’s the sights, the sounds, the fun, the festivities, everything is there on a Saturday morning. It’s what makes it attractive.”

The Farmers’ Market isn’t just about buying products however; it’s a great place to enjoy breakfast and some live music.

“It’s the only place where people can dance before 10 in the morning. Last week and the week before, I couldn’t believe how many people were up there dancing.”

The market is a key tool for the economy, attracting people from surrounding towns to spend their money in Rimbey.

“They were all thrilled with the market,” said Rondeel of out-of-town visitors who stopped by recently. “I had so many people comment on it.”

With the market growing and attracting more people, Rondeel also recognizes that market-goers are enjoying a happy medium between too small and too big.

“If you get too big, you lose that community atmosphere where right now people feel that they can take their young kids and not be concerned or worried.”

Earlier this year the market teamed with the first ever Art in the Park for a special weekend. The two-day event is expected to continue and Rondeel believes it’s a positive attraction to the market.

“I think it could be a really good weekend. It needs a little more fine-tuning but I think it could be really good.”

With this being the 30th anniversary of the Rimbey market, there is thought of holding a birthday party in mid-September to celebrate the event’s weekly presence in town.

Be sure to check out the local market on Saturdays throughout the rest of the summer and into fall from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m.

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