Plans for a farmers market at South Surrey’s ‘Pink Palace’ parking lot have been nixed due to new COVID-19 restrictions put in place by the provincial government.
The new travel restrictions prohibit non-essential travel between so-called “travel regions.”
The new order, in place until May 24, is intended to discourage travel from Vancouver Island, or the Interior, to the Lower Mainland for non-essential business. Hope is included in the Interior travel region.
Market general manager Margarett Lange said organizers had planned to have vendors come in from districts throughout the province.
“I know it’s only until the 24th, but we just can’t chance it,” Lange said. “Really, there’s nothing that we can do… I’d rather be safe.”
The plan was to create a 100-vendor market from May 1 to Oct. 10 at the Pacific Inn property, located at 1160 King George Blvd. The operation was to run Saturdays and Sundays, and some vendors were to sell items not found in the Lower Mainland. Last year, the Pacific Inn reinvented itself as the Pink Palace Film Studios.
Lange said she is unsure if there will be an opportunity to run the market next year, but expressed relief that the White Rock Farmers Market has been able to operate.
“We deeply regret having to do this. I would never have dreamed that this travel restriction would come out,” she said. “At least people have something to go to, that’s great. I wish (White Rock Farmers Market) the best and I’m glad they’re able to continue.”
White Rock Farmers Market held its first market day of the season on Sunday. The market, located at the corner of Russell Avenue and Johnston Road, runs every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Oct. 24.