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Bancroft council votes to cancel 2020 Farmers’ Market

Bancroft council has decided to cancel the 2020 Farmers’ Market season in town, with plans to reinstate it in 2021.

Clerk Lianne Sauter explained during a council meeting through Zoom the guidelines that have been set by Hastings-Prince Edward Public Health will make it difficult for the market to run in Bancroft. “The infection and control measures that have to be in place are fairly stringent as they should be,” Sauter said.

10 guidelines were put out by Public Health which outlines how Farmers’ Markets need to be run in the two Counties during the COVID-19 pandemic. They say that attendees must “get in and get out” as opposed to taking the time to browse. “It’s not like a traditional farmer’s market where you can look over things,” Bancroft Mayor Paul Jenkins said during the meeting. The Farmers’ Market also must be held inside to increase ventilation and decrease the risk of respiratory illness and no seating or play areas kids are to be made available. Public Health is also asking people to call ahead to place their order.

Sauter noted that a staff member has to be on-site all day as well, which isn’t something the town normally does. She explained that staff member is usually on-site when the market starts but leaves at times during the day.

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“It would really hamper staff’s ability to hold the market and to do it well,” Sauter said about how 2020’s market. She said that planning has been underway since the market season ended last year, but with four weeks to go until it needs to be ready, Sauter doesn’t believe it’s possible to get everything done that needs to be done within that timeline.

“This was a really hard decision for staff to make,” Sauter said. This would have been the third year the Farmers Market would be held at Cenotaph Park and Sauter said it was gaining a lot of momentum since the move was made.

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