Alberta Newspaper Group
Community, good food, homemade wares and wonders and good times are just part of the family fun at Bow Island’s Market in the Park Wednesdays at Centennial Park.
“The original concept came to me when I was on summer vacation up by Rocky Mountain House. I went to a similar type community market up there, this was in 2014. I came back and presented the idea to the chamber,” said committee member Kathy Nixdorf. The Market in the Park committee is under the Bow Island Chamber of Commerce and the committee works closely with the Town of Bow Island.
She told the chamber she wanted to strike up a committee, get a few people together and get it started.
“Initially, there were three of us that really started it. We held our first market in July 2015,” she noted.
Every year, Nixdorf added, the market has grown. “It’s a way to bring our community together.”
Market in the Park, Nixdorf explained, is a mid-week event that stays away from weekends, when people tend to get out of town during the summer months.
“And we thought there’s not a ton of stuff to do around town mid-week, so let’s try to do that. We tried to stay away from other community events. We chose Wednesday because there wasn’t a lot of stuff happening,” she said.
According to Nixdorf, the market started with maybe close to half a dozen vendors and each year the popularity of the market has grown. “Probably our max would be 25 vendors. We average around 18-20 every week.”
“We have home-based businesses, we have fruits and vegetables and we do have a food vendor who is there every week. She is starting her third year with us and she is remarkable,” she added.
Nixdorf said the market tries to feature a variety of entertainment too. “Trying to bring in as much local talent, as we can.”
In previous years, the market has featured a local family with a teepee, local organizations have helped out with children’s activities, HALO Rescue paid a visit to introduce their brand new helicopter (at the time) and a plethora of other guests and activities have been featured at the market over the years. From a raffle and table rentals one evening, $1,000 was donated to Halo Rescue.
“They have asked they come back and visit us this year. That is one of our evenings we have set up for August. We’re calling it ‘Beyond the Badge,’” she said. “Halo will be here with other first responders and we’re going to do a big feature.”
A classic car rally is just one of the events planned for this year’s Market in the Park. “We have some more musical entertainers coming. We’re talking about going out on a limb to do a sing-off, which was something suggested to us. We’re also going to be offering a flea market on one of our nights,” she said.
Nixdorf said the market runs from July 3 until Aug. 28 from 5-8 p.m.
“We do have a Facebook page — where each week we will be featuring a vendor and we will be publishing our event for that week, as well as a menu provided to us by the food vendor,” she said.