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Newmarket Farmers' Market named best in Ontario

'It's really been a team effort," president says after winning award from Farmers' Market Ontario
It was a beautiful day for the opening of the 2023 Newmarket Farmers Market. File photo/Greg King for NewmarketToday

The Newmarket Farmers’ Market has been named the best in the province..

Farmers’ Market Ontario gave the 2023 Market of the Year award to Newmarket for its “outstanding efforts that go above and beyond to foster community engagement and support local agriculture.” The award recognizes the best market of the year, decided through an application process submitted by markets.

Newmarket market president Cathy Bartolic said receiving the award was really exciting. 

“We have a beautiful area to have our market in Newmarket with the Riverwalk Commons, so that’s a real benefit,” she said. “We’ve been around for a while so we’ve had a chance to establish ourselves and to develop some customer loyalty with our products and our vendors. It’s all kind of come to a peak.”

The Newmarket market, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, has remained a fixture at Riverwalk Commons for several years, with dozens of vendors taking part and thousands attending.

Bartolic said the application process was extensive and not something the Newmarket market had submitted in recent memory. But she said with the help of the rest of the board, they decided to attempt it for 2023.

“We have an amazing board of people, and they all stepped up to help make this happen and just help make the market happen,” she said. 

Bartolic added that they are unsure how many other markets they were up against, with the provincial association not disclosing that when they asked.

The Newmarket community celebrated the win.

“Farmers' Market Ontario today confirmed what I, and many people in Newmarket, have known for many years — that Newmarket has the best farmers market in Ontario,” Newmarket Mayor John Taylor said, adding appreciation for the board, volunteers, and vendors. “Thank you for creating, not only a place to buy fresh produce, baked goods and other specialty items, but also a much beloved gathering place for our community.”

The Newmarket Farmers’ Market is readying for a 25th-anniversary kickoff celebration on Feb. 24. The market was established in 1999.

“We’re trying to put together different events we can do to showcase the 25th anniversary,” Bartolic said. “We’re looking forward to it. We got a call out for new vendors as well and the response has been tremendous.”

Putting on a successful market is the result of a great team, Bartolic said.

“It’s really been a team effort, and it’s just a bunch of great people coming together. It makes it a lot easier for everybody,” she said.

The farmers' market 25th anniversary kickoff party, posted on Facebook, is running from 3 to 4 p.m. at the Ray Twinney Recreation Complex. However, an RSVP is required.