Ladysmith Farmers Market on the move

Chamber of Commerce-sponsored market moves from contentious First Avenue location to Transfer Beach Park.

Transfer Beach Park will serve as the Ladysmith Farmers Market’s new home through September.

The market opened for business at its new location Tuesday, Aug. 27, said Mark Drysdale, manager of the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce, and both vendors and passersby seem to approve of the new location.

“I don’t think I was sworn at once all day,” Drysdale added, referring to the abusive insults directed at vendors by motorists forced to detour around the market’s highly-contentious former location on First Avenue.

Drysdale described the new location as “great,” adding that “the ambience is really nice down there. Our vendors really appreciated it, and the folks going through seemed to really enjoy it. Hopefully it’s going to be a success.”

Turnout at last week’s market was low, Drysdale said, and the market has yet to break even this year, meaning the future of the Chamber’s involvement with the market will be up for debate.

“[The Chamber] might be willing to stay involved for another year or maybe even two years — even if it’s not break-even — if the feeling is that this is something that Ladysmith needs and that it will provide an economic benefit to the community,” Drysdale explained.

The Chamber’s decision to relocate the market to Transfer Beach was made on short notice, Drysdale said.

Following a failed bid to move the market to Rotary Peace Park the week before, the Chamber “had an executive committee meeting on the morning of Aug. 26 to discuss our options,” Drysdale said.

“We contacted the city to let them know that we’d really like to move to Transfer Beach,” Drysdale added, “and they said ‘would you like to move as early as tomorrow?’”

The Ladysmith Farmers Market operates on Tuesdays from 3-7 p.m. at Transfer Beach Park from today through Sept. 24.