The Waterdown Farmers’ Market will reopen for the 2021 season May 29 at a new temporary location — Memorial Park.

The Waterdown Village BIA announced the move and reopening in a May 7 media release, after the 2020 market was not held due to concerns related to COVID-19. In the past, the market was held in the parking lot of the Waterdown branch of the Royal Canadian Legion.

Waterdown Farmers’ Market committee chairperson Cheri Demenna said in the release that the return of the market is exciting news for the more than 20 local farm vendors and small batch producers who take part.

“A lot of work has gone into developing a reopening plan that will allow the Waterdown Farmers’ Market to operate safely under COVID-19 guidelines,” Demenna said. “We, along with the entire community, really missed the market in 2020 and are looking forward to seeing visitors reconnect with their favourite local farmers.”

She added the board is thankful for the support received from the City of Hamilton and public health to allow them to hold the market, which is able to open as an essential service.

According to the release, 2021 marks the eighth season for the market in its current format, although due to COVID-19, this year will feature several modifications, including mandatory masks, physical distancing and mandatory entrance through the designated gate.

Until COVID-19 restrictions ease, programs such as the interactive kids’ area and the market eating area will not be available.

As a longtime supporter of the market, Ward 15 Coun. Judi Partridge said she is pleased to see it come to Memorial Park this year.

“Farmers and agriculture are an important part of the Waterdown and Flamborough community’s heritage and economy,” she said. “I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the Waterdown BIA and city staff to support the return of the market.”

The Waterdown Farmers’ Market is scheduled to operate Saturday between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the east half of the Memorial Park parking lot, from May 29 through to mid-October. Vendor offerings will include fresh produce, small batch prepared foods, Ontario VQA wines, ciders and more.

Demenna said everyone is excited to get back to enjoying their usual summer activities — and the market reopening is a positive step in that direction.

“Our hope is that we continue on a positive trajectory and we ask market patrons to do their part by understanding and co-operating with the rules … and to support all local businesses,” she said. “Plan for a fun, full and safe Saturday that includes a market visit, stops at your beloved retailers, followed by takeout or lunch on a local restaurant patio when allowed.”

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