The successful Richmond Outdoor Market that ran in September at the Richmond Fairgrounds will grow and be operated as a Farmers Market in 2021.
The market will operate every Sunday from May 16 through Oct. 17, excluding the Richmond Fair.
The announcement of the expanded schedule of the market came during the Richmond Agricultural Society’s Annual General Meeting Jan. 19 via Webex.
Last year’s market operated for two weekends in September and then on four consecutive Sundays in October and early November. The market had humble beginnings, as organizer Rebecca Hanbidge had only 10 vendors for the first date. That number quickly grew to 30 and then to 50.
Hanbidge, who has a farm just outside of Richmond and is also in the Canadian military, said in the fall that the market came together quickly but has been well received by Richmond and the surrounding communities.
“We had been planning to create a Richmond Farmers’ Market for the past couple of years,” Hanbidge said in the fall. “However, when COVID-19 happened, it put everything on hold.”
Hanbidge said that outgoing Richmond Agricultural Society Executive Director Dale Greene was the driving force in making the market happen in 2020.
“Dale is the reason this market is happening,” she said. “I was at home and he knocked on the door and told me we were now in Stage 3 of re-opening and asked if we wanted to try to do this.”
Hanbidge met with the Richmond Agricultural Society Board and they gave her the go-ahead to start the process in putting the market together. She got the approvals and permits needed, and then started putting the word out.
The market followed all of the rules and guidelines set out by public health during the pandemic. They were limited to 100 guests in the market at one time, which at times resulted in line-ups for guests to enter the market. Guests and vendors were also required to wear masks and to socially distance.