The Nicola Valley Farmers' Market liked moving to the public parking lot beside Baillie House for the Great Canadian Bike Rally so much it decided to make the new location home.
Farmers' market president Lucas Handley announced Monday that vendors would set up in the parking lot beside Baillie House on a permanent basis starting this Saturday.
Because the Great Canadian Bike Rally used the market's usual site, the parking lot beside City Furniture and across from Pharmasave on Garcia Street, the City of Merritt offered the lot at the corner of Merritt Avenue and Voght Street as an alternative.
The new location proved appealing to both shoppers and vendors when the market opened in the midst of the bike rally on July 14, says Handley.
"Vendors loved the location due to the highway exposure, the shade offered by the trees, and the ability to grow and expand our number of vendors."
Hours after packing up, the market received letters, Facebook comments, signatures, and verbal support for making a permanent move, says Handley.
The City of Merritt approved the change of venue within less than a week, he adds.
"The only issue still to be discussed is the fee to use the lot - $50 per week."
The market will ask city council to waive the fee but decided to make the move as soon as possible and will pay the cost in the meantime.
Handley says the old location served the market well and thanks customers and neighbouring businesses such as Pharmasave, City Furniture, and Royal Bank for their support.
"It's not easy to leave when there has been such good hospitality to us here, but the time is right to grow."
Vendors from the market had publicly objected to being moved during last year's bike rally.
However, Mayor Susan Roline noted that the new site proved even better than the last while speaking about the bike rally at Tuesday's regular council meeting.
"I think one of the happiest groups at how things went was the farmers' market."
The farmers' market will set up in the Baillie House parking lot every Saturday between now and the end of its season on Thanksgiving weekend in October.
In addition to Baillie House, the Merritt Curling Club and Nicola Valley Memorial Arena use the parking lot.
Handley says the market will not affect other lot users. For example, he says, the curling club's season does not begin until the market's ends.