By Brian Lawrence
For many locals and visitors, the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market is the place to be on Saturday morning. Whether looking for fresh veggies, local meat, home-made baking, or for soap, pottery or artwork, this award winning market is brimming with irresistible delights and bustles from start to finish with shoppers and vendors!
One of my recent purchases was a delicious cinnamon-raisin sourdough, which was amazing, and I’m always on the lookout for microgreens to add a tasty zest to salads. Of course, finding the most sought-after goods can also be a challenge if you’re even a bit late — about 1,000 visitors attend this popular farmers' market on the busiest weeks!
Fresh Food, Fine Wine, Local Honey - Oh My!
Run by the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition (CVFAC), the market is the best spot to find fresh, locally grown food — you can literally plan every meal based on what's available.
During the summer months the market blossoms with farm vendors showcasing an array of farm-fresh vegetables and fruits. Highlights include asparagus from Sutcliffe Farms (for a very limited May-June season) and cherries and peaches during late July and August. And the market's allure extends far beyond produce; it's a treasure trove of locally raised beef, chicken, and other delectable meats throughout the year.
Yet the fresh veggies, fruits and meats are just the start. The market is awash with all sorts of other local goods sourced from or made in the Creston area! The market “showcases all the diversity that the Creston Valley has to offer,” says CVFAC executive director Tanya Wall. “It’s not just about traditional farming, it’s about taking traditional products and turning them into so much more. The opportunity for exposure to new products is out of this world. They’re pure and natural products made from passion and love.”
Indeed, the market is a haven for a myriad of value-added goodies, where you'll discover exceptional libations like fine wines from Wynnwood Cellars and Red Bird wineries, spirits from Wynndel Craft Distilleries, and cider and vinegar from William Tell. Plus, several producers offer baking, both savoury and sweet, and even granola. For a truly authentic local experience, visit Swan Valley Honey and try out their exceptional honey or their amazing beeswax candles! Of course, if all that shopping makes you a little peckish, there are always some great food trucks offering some mouth-watering meals like the breakfast burrito over at Savour Food Truck!
More Than Food - Handcrafted Artisan Goods & Entertainment at the Market
As you explore the market, you'll also discover a captivating array of artistry and meticulous craftsmanship extending beyond food. Meandering amongst the market stalls, you will also find a lovely selection of handmade jewelry, soaps, textiles, pottery and other products lovingly made by local artisans and practically begging you to take them home. One standout at the market is the Pridham Pottery Studio, a second-generation family business known for its brightly painted and distinctive mugs, bowls and more — perfect as cherished souvenirs of your visit to the Creston Valley.
And aside from all the goodies to sample and buy, the market offers activities and events to keep everyone satisfied. For example the market also hosts a rotating list of local musicians and performers, adding a touch of charm and entertainment to the market experience. And fear not, parents! The little ones haven't been forgotten either. A dedicated play area is available, keeping them happily engaged while you explore the market's offerings.
market Location In 2023 & Beyond
While the summer outdoor market's home is traditionally beside the Creston Visitor Centre, for 2023 it will be temporarily re-locating next to Millennium Park, while the Town of Creston transforms the old market location into a purpose built “Market Park”. The park, set to be completed in 2024, will not only provide much-needed customer parking and green space, but also a long-term home for the outdoor summer market for years to come.
Following the 2023 summer season beside Millennium Park, the market will then move indoors to the Creston and District Community Complex , where it will be held every Saturday from October-December — ending the year as a great place for Christmas gift ideas. After that, it then runs monthly from January-April, ensuring access to seasonal produce even in the deepest days of winter. With the market's ever-moving location and schedule throughout the year make sure to check out Creston Valley Farmers' Market website for the latest information on times and locations during your visit to the Creston Valley.
Downtown Creston Amenities Within Reach
One of the standout features of the summer outdoor market is it's central location, making it easily accessible to visitors who wish to explore the market and the town. Passing through Creston in an RV? Not to worry — it's still easy to visit the Creston Valley Farmers' Market! The Town of Creston provides free RV parking and even a sani-dump on the opposite (north) side of Millennium Park. Speaking of which, Millennium Park itself is a delightful oasis, boasting public washrooms, refreshing water fountains, and an idyllic picnic area.
For those vacationing with their furry friends, who may need to stretch their legs or chase a ball, the local dog park is also just west of Millennium Park on Cedear Street. And for the bipeds seeking a leisurely stroll, a mere five-minute walk north along the paved walking trails from Millennium Park will lead you into the heart of downtown Creston, where you'll find a vibrant array of shops, restaurants, and a number of accommodations.
For a comprehensive list of nearby amenities, including parking, washrooms, and pet-friendly facilities visit our Services & Amenities page. Alternatively, checkout the map below to get a good idea of where the market is and what else is nearby.
By the time you’ve finished at the market — which can take a while because it’s essentially 50 mini-stores — you may want a snack, or even lunch, so why not visit one of the coffee shops or restaurants downtown? (There’s more great shopping downtown, as well!) Or perhaps your trip to the market included picking up the necessities for a picnic lunch, so a visit to one of the area’s scenic hiking trails or parks might be in order. or for further inspiration on how to make the most of your time in the area, explore our Get Inspired blog to get some more inspired ideas of things to do while visiting the area!
However you choose to spend the rest of the day, I'm sure the Creston Valley Farmers’ Market will leave you with an abundance of delicious goodies and local treasures to enjoy!
Freelance writer Brian Lawrence is a former editor and publisher of the Creston Valley Advance. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and trail running, and acting in and directing productions with Creston's Footlighters Theatre Society.