A local makers’ market will be coming to the fairgrounds this month, showcasing the best that Merrickville and the surrounding area has to offer. Organizer, Laura Starkey, held the first Merrickville’s Makers Market in February, 2017. As a painter, seamstress, and maker for Laura’s Shop, she has participated in a lot of markets in places like Almonte, Kingston and Ottawa and noticed how many makers there were at the shows who were from Merrickville and the surrounding area. Seeing a need, she decided to organize a market at the Merrickville Community Centre, and it was a success right from the start. “It was amazing,” she says. “It was just like a big happy family.”
Laura usually holds Merrickville’s Makers Market twice a year. She was able to hold the show at the Community Centre in February, but was unsure if she would be able to go ahead with the September market due to COVID-19. “I wanted to wait it out and see how things would change,” she says.
Thankfully, the current climate is allowing open air markets, which is exactly what she had planned. Both the Municipality and the Merrickville and District Chamber of Commerce were very supportive of her moving ahead with the market. “Everyone is pretty excited about it,” she says.
To make sure everyone is comfortable and stays safe, there will be a designated entrance, with only 100 shoppers allowed in the market at a time. Each tent will be placed ten feet apart and everyone, makers and guests, will be required to wear masks. Hand sanitizer will also be available at all the tables. “The plans they have in place are so good, it could serve as a template for other openair markets,” Mayor Doug Struthers said, adding that he is very much looking forward to the event.
Many of the makers at the market are from Merrickville-Wolford, with others coming from the surrounding areas, including Carp, Winchester and Ottawa. The market offers a large variety of homemade products, including clothing, candles, jewelry, knit wear, glasswork, natural cosmetics, bread, teas and treats. The market is 100% makers only, which means that no large companies will be present. “That’s what makes the show so special,” Laura says.
Merrickville’s Makers Market will be held at the Merrickville Fairgrounds on Saturday, September 12, from 10am-3pm. There is no entrance fee for the market, and Laura encourages families to come check it out and spend the day on the fairgrounds. Kids are welcome, as there will be lots of green space for them to run around, as well as a playground and a beach. Simply Baked Catering will be on site to offer local food and there will be a seating area where people can relax and enjoy their lunch.
Portapotties will be available, so visitors will not have to go searching for a bathroom elsewhere in the Village.
Laura hopes that, even with the COVID-19 protocols in place, people will come out, enjoy Merrickville, and see what local makers have to offer “We can still have fun, still get together, and still support local because they have been the hardest hit,” she says.
For many of the local makers, this will be their first face-to-face contact with their customers in many months. They are very thankful to the Village and the customers who have continued to support local makers throughout the pandemic. “This is our thank you,” says Laura