Saturday August 29, 2020 ~ SOOKE, BC
by Mary P Brooke, Editor | Island Social Trends
There was a steady stream of visitors to the Sooke Night Market on Thursday evening August 27. All of it going in one direction, as part of social distancing management during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Personnel were at both ends of the outdoor venue on the grounds of the Sooke Region Museum to ensure entry/exit management. Upon arriving there is a head count, but no names taken. This week the Thursday market saw over 300 visitors during the 5 to 8 pm time slot.
Compared to previous years where the outdoor area could be packed with people, there was ample physical distancing but a buzzing active crowd. The mood was upbeat but somehow intense, as is felt everywhere nowadays during the pandemic.
Many people were wearing face masks as part of COVID protocols, but not all. Everyone was respectful of the 2-metre social distancing requirement.
Sooke Night Market has been an annual event on Thursday evenings for several years, running from June into the first week of September. As part of social distancing, there have been fewer vendors this summer, with a focus on food and produce. This is part of an effort to support local farmers and also to recognize the availability of fresh food during the pandemic.
Quite a lot of work goes into setting up a pop-up booth for just a few hours. Vendors have only three hours to recoup their costs — not so much the vendor space at the market, but all the work of producing their product ahead of that.
Produce for sale on Thursday evening included blueberries, carrots, potatoes, tomatoes, cucumber, zucchini, onions, peppers, salad mix, beets and more.
The museum’s director Lee Boyko was on hand that evening, keeping a watchful eye on things.
There is plenty of parking within easy walking distance of the venue. The museum is at 2070 Phillips Road, corner of Sooke Road (Highway 14).
The last Sooke Night Market of the season will be on Thursday September 3, from 5 to 8 pm. Arrive early to get the best selection!