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Vendors, shoppers pack Historic Gardens as Annapolis Royal Winter Market kicks off


ANNAPOLIS ROYAL, N.S. —

It didn’t feel much like winter, but the Annapolis Royal Winter Market kicked off anyway. It was warmish weather, sunshine, and lots of fall colours at Historic Gardens Oct. 19 on opening day.

Produce dominated the tables, but there were knit goods, ready-to-eat food, coffee, baked goods, eggs, honey, and even the ever-popular Lazy Bear Beer. There were lots of vendors on opening day, and scores of local residents were on hand to pick up their groceries.

“There were 17 vendors Saturday, and there are at least another three expected to start this coming Saturday,” said Historic Gardens manager Trish Fry. She said that more than 400 customers and visitors attended the first market of the new season.

“Our average customership has grown 40 per cent over the past two seasons,” she said. “More and more people are becoming regular market buyers, supporting the local growers and makers. Winter Market has a different character to it - we have to work with ‘winter’ after all - but it has a great vibe and we get that feedback a lot.”

She said the winter market vendors cover a diverse range of food types and other products, so there is lots for people to choose from.

“We are really pleased work in partnership with the Annapolis Royal Farmers Market Association - they do summer, we do winter, and between us we are able to offer access to local food 52 weeks a year,” Fry said. “All this is the wee town of Annapolis Royal. Pretty cool. It's all about providing a venue for growers and producers to interact with prospective customers and the rest just happens.”

The market picks up where the Annapolis Royal Farmers and Traders Market leaves off in October, creating a more intimate market on the other end of town where it’s not uncommon for an outdoor fire in the courtyard blazing after the snow falls, keeping shoppers warm.

As the weather gets colder, venders move into the gift shop at Historic Gardens. If the snow is deep enough, some shoppers might bring their snowshoes and take a trek around the picturesque gardens before picking up their items at the market.

The market runs every Saturday morning from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. from October until May.

Free admission. Call 532-7018. Facebook: AnnapolisRoyalWinterMarket.

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