Home News by Region Sooke Outdoor Sooke Night Market sees good turnout during COVID

Outdoor Sooke Night Market sees good turnout during COVID

Fewer vendors during COVID-19, with a focus on food and produce.

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.

On-site security to manage physical distancing, at the Sooke Night Market [August 27, 2020 | Island Social Trends]

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.

Some quieter spots on the museum grounds, enjoyed by families in their COVID social bubbles [August 27, 2020 | Island Social Trends / Mary Brooke]

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.

Sooke Region Museum Director Lee Boyko (center) keeps an eye on how the venue is running every Thursday evening. Entry to the grounds is one-way only. [August 27, 2020 / Island Social Trends / Mary Brooke]

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!

Preserves, sauces and vinegars for sale at the Sooke Night Market [Island Social Trends]
Frozen free range chickens for sale by Black Bar Farm at the Sooke Night Market. “They’re a different animal”, the vendor says — meaning not fed anything with chemicals. [Island Social Trends / Mary Brooke]
Managing the foot traffic that enters the museum grounds for the Sooke Night Market, August 27, 2020 [Island Social Trends / Mary Brooke]
Produce for sale at the Sooke Night Market on August 27, 2020 [Island Social Trends]
Active market on Thursday evenings outdoors at the Sooke Night Market [Island Social Trends]