January 22nd, 2021

Exhibition Park taking extra precautions for Farmers’ Market

By Jensen, Randy on July 8, 2020.

Tim Kalinowski

Lethbridge Herald


Exhibition Park is taking additional measures to ensure the continued health and safety of vendors, customers and staff at its weekly Farmers’ Market in light of a recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the AHS South Zone centred in the County of Warner.

“We are doing individual reach-outs to all of our vendors this week to talk about the new measures,” Exhibition Park CEO Mike Warkentin explained. “We are requiring every person that is in a booth to go through a screener on the morning of the market.

“We haven’t any direct threat (of COVID infection) from any vendor that has been in the market,” he emphasized. “We had some pre-emptive self-disclosure from a vendor that was due to be in the market, who we have since had a conversation with, and they have agreed not to come into the market.”

Besides bringing in additional screening and limiting the numbers of people in the market at any given time, Warkentin is strongly advising vendors to wear masks and take other health measures while selling products at Exhibition Park.

“It is up to each individual vendor if they want to have a plastic shield,” he said. “We do have them at our concessions and info booths. The majority of our vendors do have the plastic shields. We are strongly recommending masks at this point in time. We are also encouraging wherever possible the use of touchless payment. Not all of our vendors are capable of doing so, but we are seeing the majority of our vendors go to a touchless payment this year.”

Warkentin says safety is the number one priority for Exhibition Park when it comes to the popular weekly farmers’ market, which has seen increasing numbers every weekend since opening in June.

“Our safety is significantly more than what you would see at a grocery store because we don’t have fixed assets like a grocery store would,” he said. “We don’t have shelves that are built in place. We have the ability to spread things out even farther.

“The health and safety of our guests, our vendors, and our staff is the absolute main priority for the farmers’ market. And if at any time that is at threat, we won’t hesitate to make changes to the market.”

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