A sure sign that summer is finally on its way is the return of the Cache Creek Market, which opens for the season on Saturday, May 5. Formerly the Cache Creek Farmers’ and Flea Market, the weekly event takes place every Saturday—and this year on a few Sundays as well—at the junction of Highways 1 and 97 beside Chum’s Restaurant, and is open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The market operates under the umbrella of the Cache Creek Beautification Society, and organizer Wendy Coomber says that its roots go back to a “sort of” market that started in the Cache Creek Community Hall in 2003/4.
“It was a plant and seed swap, which grew into the current market in 2011.”
The market—in common with so many other area businesses, organizations, and events—had a difficult year in 2017. “Our opening day was scheduled for the Saturday of the  flood, and we tried to contact vendors because authorities wanted to use the market site as a staging area.
“They ended up using the school grounds instead, and some vendors came anyway, so we had a soft opening on May 6 and then opened on May 13.
“Then we had the fires, and lost the summer.”
The market is not, strictly speaking, a farmers’ market, although local plants, produce, and other foodstuffs are available. “There are antiques, crafts, collectibles, arts, and more,” says Coomber. “It’s a real social occasion for a lot of people. They come and browse the tables every week, but they mostly come to socialize and have fun. If you come for more than two weeks, you’re family.”
There has been discussion about having permanent storage space at the site for some time, so that there is a place to store awnings and tables. “We need the awnings because it gets so hot, and if we had the space for that equipment it would help the vendors, especially since we had such a rotten summer last year.”
The Thompson-Nicola Regional District and Second Time Around have provided funding, and an agreement has been reached that will see FortisBC provide the (free) labour to construct the storage shed.
The cost to have a table at the market is $5, and while vendors can show up on the day, anyone with special requirements should contact Coomber in advance at (250) 457-9587. There are generally between 18 and 20 vendors at the market each Saturday between June and August, with the highest number being 24 vendors at one of the markets in 2016.
This year the market is adding a few Sunday openings, as some vendors have asked for that. “We’ll be open the Sunday of the May long weekend [May 20], in June for Graffiti Days [June 17], July 1, and July 8. There will be a market on August 19, and September’s Sunday date hasn’t been determined.”
“We have our regular vendors, but not everyone comes every week,” continues Coomber. “We have food almost every week—bannock, cabbage rolls, jams and jellies, sourdough bread—and we have vendors who come from Kamloops, Ashcroft, Clinton, and Merritt. You never know who you’re going to find every week. That’s what’s fun.”
For more information about the market, visit the Facebook page (Cache Creek Market).