The fate of the Rossland Mountain Market is known at last and the news is good. The city’s much loved market will start again later next month, but will be relocated. The construction on Columbia Avenue, which will be going on all summer forced the move.
Rachael Roussin, who helps organize the market said that it was just a matter of working the details out with the city.
During the summer, the market will run every Thursday from 3:30 p.m. until 6 p.m.
“We’re hoping to keep the identical format. same vendor prices, music, kid’s activities, we’re even trying to do more of that,” Roussin said. “The only thing that’s changing is the location.”
She said that the task of finding a location has not been easy.
“There were a million considered,” she said. “It was really hard to relocate the market because, as most locals know, it’s taken awhile to get the market established.”
She attributes much of that success to the downtown location that the city allows Rossland Real Foods to run the market on, between the credit union and Rossvegas.
She said the difficulty is trying to find a suitable location outside of the downtown that would have the same charm and presence.
Other locations that were considered were places like Spokane Street between First and Columbia, but that didn’t work because of future traffic rerouting.
The Cooke Avenue ball diamond was an option, but that was too far out of town. Another was the Emcon lot or the Shovel parking lot or the area behind the arena, but they were dismissed because of the longer walk from downtown as well as the heat.
“One thing we’ve come to realize is that when the surface that the market sits on is gravel, on a hot summer day with wind, it can get very dusty, which isn’t very sanitary for food or nice for clothing and other artisan wears,” she explained.
Another possible location they almost went with was the area right behind Golden City Day Care, which she said was a great location and very central.
There was also the possibility of including the day care. But the spot turned out to be too dusty and hot and would have cost too much to fix up, as the market doesn’t have the capacity to resurface an area for just the season, she said.
“The location between the fire hall and the church with the red roof is ideal in that it’s scenic, it’s clean, it’s almost central and traffic is going to be increased on First due to the downtown renovation,” she said. “Basically, Rossland Real Food is going to go full ahead with the market this summer and we hope that it’s extremely successful.”
They welcome new vendors, as always and the cost for vendors will remain the same, with the rules that govern the market: “Make it, bake it, grow it, with a few exceptions.”
Roussin said they are hoping to have secured a grant from the Kootenay Columbia Culture Alliance as well, which would allow them to have five music days. They would pay musicians to come and play music at the market.
“We’re also hoping to partner with the Rossland Library, so that we can do reading times at the farmer’s market,” she said. “We feel that would be a nice summertime activity for kids, and it’s also a model that other farmer’s markets in the province have used.”
She said the market is definitely a summer highlight for the community and plead to Rosslanders not to “forget to walk the one block up to First Avenue,” to get fresh carrots, cupcakes and other goods.
The first date will be Thursday June 28, and they hope to go until Oct. 24, the same schedule as last year. They usually start the last Thursday in June because that’s when farmers start to have their crops.
A favourite from last year, Mad Dog Farms, will be back at the market this year. They are organic farmers from the Castlegar area who usually bring honey and organic produce.
Unfortunately, the other favourite Centre Road Farms won’t be coming back because they are not farming this year.