Boyce Farmers Market set to return, but popular Fredericton night market cancelled
Market staff, city roll out public safety measures to reopen safely
Fredericton's Boyce Farmers Market will reopen Saturday after being closed since mid-March.
The market will be open to vendors that sell produce and groceries, as the first of three phases. Phase two will see takeout food options available and phase three will allow artisans and crafters to return to the market.
The city said this will not be the market as usual.
"It expressly will not be a particularly social event," said David Seabrook, manager of tourism and culture at the City of Fredericton.
"We're going to keep people moving, they're going to be in line, going in a certain direction in the market."
Mandatory masks, new hours
Masks are mandatory for vendors to wear and only 80 shoppers will be allowed inside the building at a time.
The market will change its hours, opening at 7 a.m. until 1 p.m., and the George Street entrance is the only that will be in use.
"It's not the way you would design it if you were to start from the ground up and design a great experience, but it is the way you would design it if you're trying to start a market, trying to find enough business for the vendors and try to provide safety for the public, and it is a lot of compromises," Seabrook said.
The city also announced the popular Garrison Night Market will not return for the summer of 2020.
The market brought thousands of people to the city's downtown each week for the past two years.
Stacey Russell, the city's manager of tourism and events, said there were too many complications when trying to figure out how to open the market safely.
"It's a very densely crowded market — we have in the vicinity of 140 to 150 vendors with multiple access points," she said. "Ensuring public safety is a major concern and one that we've played out multiple scenarios and we have unfortunately been unable to figure out a solution for this.
"To say we're hugely disappointed is a huge understatement."