Local farmers markets are huge weekly attractions in the Columbia Valley during the summer months, part of a tradition in rural BC for more than a century. No matter how small or large they might be, they draw enthusiastic crowds.
Visitors to local farmers markets come for the season’s best garden-fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs, often organically grown. They are attractively displayed in colorful stalls, alongside just-from-the-oven, home-baked breads, buns, cakes and pies. You’ll usually find jams, pickles, even delicious local honey and some markets sell farm-fresh eggs and locally-produced meats and cheeses as well.
Often, the vendors will be offering a sample to tempt your taste buds – like perhaps a cracker topped with a spoonful of homemade hot pepper jelly or a dollop of hummus on a crisp pita chip. You can take home a bunch of flowers, cut fresh while the dew was still on the garden, maybe a houseplant or a garden sculpture.
Local farmers markets offer much more, too. You can spend a delightful hour or two browsing the displays of paintings, photography, fragrant hand-made soaps and lotions, sewing, knitting, ceramics, woodworking, jewelry, glassware and more. Stop and chat with the artists and artisans and find a unique gift to surprise someone special – or even to treat yourself!
You can tap your feet to the lively melodies of local musicians while you enjoy a cup of locally-roasted coffee, visit with old friends and even make some new ones. It’s a fun place to be and a truly great summer tradition.
Here are the dates for the 2017 Columbia Valley farmers markets:
- Invermere Farmers and Artists Market is in the traditional downtown location on Main Street (7th Ave) Saturdays from June 10 to September 9/17 (9am – 1pm)
- Invermere’s Saturday Morning Market Place, a complement to the Invermere Farmers and Artists Market, can be found in front of the Legion building on Saturdays from June 24 to September 9/17 /(9am -1pm)
- Invermere also is the location of the Agri Park Farmers Market, run by the Windermere District Farmers Association (WDFI). You’ll find it open for business Wednesdays from June 28 to August 30/17 at the Crossroads where Hwy. 93/95 meets the road to Invermere (5pm – 7:30pm)
- Radium Hot Springs has the traditional Market on Main, which is combined with Music on Main, giving a festive air to the Visitor Centre location on Main Street West. Fridays from June 23 to August 31/17 (4pm – 9pm)
- Fairmont Hot Springs Farmers and Artisans Market is in the Fairmont Village Mall parking area. You can see it from the highway. Sunday, July 2, then weekly from July 23 to August 27 (10am – 2pm)
A pleasant drive north or south on Hwy. 93/95 will take you to several other weekly Columbia Valley farmers markets:
- Golden Spirit Square Market on the north end of the Kicking Horse pedestrian bridge, from July 8 to August 26/17 (10am – 3pm) (note: July 1 market is on the street in downtown Golden)
- Golden Wednesday Farmers Market is at Hwy 95 and 5th , (CP Rail parking lot) , Wednesdays from June 14 to September 27/17 (12 – 5pm)
- Kimberley Farmers Market is held on Howard St. between Kimberley and Deer Park Aves. Thursdays from June 22 to September 7/17 (5 – 7:30pm)
- Cranbrook Outdoor Farmers Market is on 10th S. every Saturday from June 24 to August 26/17 (9am -1pm) – website
- Fernie Mountain Market joins the city’s Canada Day celebration at the Fernie Aquatic Centre on July 1, then takes place on Sundays at Rotary Park, just off Hwy.#3, from July 2 to September 3/17 (10am – 2pm)
Take the whole family to one of the Columbia Valley’s wonderful local farmers markets. It’s an adventure and there’s definitely something to make everyone happy.