The Cache Creek outdoor market (pictured here in 2019) is planning to reopen on the first weekend of May as usual. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

The Cache Creek outdoor market (pictured here in 2019) is planning to reopen on the first weekend of May as usual. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)

Cache Creek outdoor market plans to open first weekend in May

A decision about whether to cancel or postpone the annual Seedy Saturday event still up in the air

The fate of the annual Seedy Saturday event in Cache Creek — which usually takes place the first weekend in February — is still up in the air, but the Cache Creek market is hoping to start up again on its usual date of the first Saturday in May.

Both events are run under the auspices of the Cache Creek Beautification Society, and Wendy Coomber — who organizes them — says that a decision about cancelling or delaying Seedy Saturday hasn’t been made. The event usually takes place inside the Cache Creek community hall, which is not an option at the moment due to a ban on indoor public gatherings.

“Looking at the historical weather for the first weekend of February [shows] it’s usually awful, so holding it outside probably isn’t an option,” she says. “In March you’re into conflicts with other nearby Seedy Saturdays, and if we delay it until April the first weekend falls on Easter weekend, so that’s not a good idea for a lot of vendors who would normally come.”

However, the hope is for the outdoor market to start its 11th season on Saturday, May 1. “Outdoor gatherings are still okay. We ask people to wear masks and keep your distance, and the vendors are spaced quite far apart. We told them last year to do everything they could to discourage people from gathering at their tables.”

The market started a little late in 2020, losing the first two weekends because of ongoing COVID-19 precautions that Coomber describes as “a little more restrictive” up to that point. Fewer vendors were at the market than in 2019, which she chalks up to caution: “They didn’t want to take a chance.”

However, she adds that the vendors who did come said that their sales were up over 2019.

“For three months from March until May there was nothing happening, and everything was closed. I got a distinct sense that people wanted to take their wallet out of their pocket or purse and do something, since it had been a long time since they were able to.”

There are usually three indoor markets in the fall, but two were cancelled because of COVID-19. Still, Coomber says that the weather was good enough that they were able to have an extra outdoor market in October and another one in December.

Coomber notes that because of COVID-19, rules are now a little different for food vendors. “If you want to bring baking or bread then the portions have to be individually packaged. You can’t just put a stack of [unwrapped] loaves on the table; they have to be bagged.

“If you want to have samples, they have to be individually wrapped. They can’t be in a common bowl where people are reaching in to get them. The rules are always changing and can be hard to figure out, but people can call me if they have questions.”

Last year, customers were encouraged to pay via electronic transfers ahead of time or at the site. “We would have someone standing six feet away from a vendor paying them via eTransfer from their phone.”

Tables cost $5 each, and Coomber says that vendors just need to bring a table and their items on the day to get a space. “It’s so easy; just show up and we’ll find you a spot and take your $5.”

Funds raised from table rental go to the Beautification Society for its activities like Seedy Saturday. “We do a volunteer appreciation event in summer and the Winter Lights celebration in December. We’re always looking for new projects, and new volunteers are always welcome.”

For more information about the Cache Creek Market or the Beautification Society, call Coomber at (250) 457-9587. You can also check the Cache Creek Market Facebook page for information or to contact Coomber.

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