New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Despite COVID-19 figures, Moncton’s largest craft event is back

Key takeaways:

  • An excellent one-stop Christmas shopping destination has been established by bringing artisans and small enterprises together in one area.
  • On Thursday, Dorothy Shephard, stated that a regionalized circuit breaker in that public health zone was ineffective.
  • Organizers maintained a close eye on COVID-19 cases in the area and across the province until opening day.

Hundreds of manufacturers, artisans, and small businesses in one location have created an ideal one-stop Christmas shopping destination.

Except for 2020, when the market was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It was okay,” recalls Kelli Young, an artisanal soap maker who has brought her “Soap Shack” to the exhibition for nearly 20 years.

“With the situation we were in at the time; I was kind of glad we didn’t have one.”

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Last year at that time, there were 119 confirmed cases of COVID-19 across the province.

There are currently 295 instances in the Moncton area alone.

The Moncton region had seen numerous instances in the last few weeks amid elevated case counts and hospitalizations in the year when vaccines began making the rounds, and New Brunswick has changed to a more regionalized strategy to gathering limitations.

On Thursday, Dorothy Shephard, Minister of Health, stated that a regionalized circuit breaker in that public health zone was ineffective.

That electrical breaker was removed a week before the craft show’s doors opened.

Even still, guests and merchants alike were required to wear masks and show proof of immunization to enter the show floor this weekend.

Denise Richard, a seamstress who has sold dog attire at the show for nine years, says returning this year motivated her to get her vaccines.

“I was immunized at the last minute,” Richards explains.

Her stand, Le Woof, drew a steady stream of customers over the weekend.

Moncton's biggest craft show returns after one-year hiatus because of  pandemic

According to Joe Savoie, the craft show’s producer, people just seem to be delighted to be out of the house.

“Everyone on the floor, from craftspeople to showgoers, it’s all the same thing — a sigh of relief, even though there are constraints, still extremely delighted to be here.”

According to Savoie, organizers maintained a close eye on COVID-19 cases in the area and across the province until opening day.

The decision to put on this year’s show was only decided approximately a month ago.

“It all boils down to cases, circuit breakers, lockdowns, and a little bit of everything,” he says.

“We were hoping for fewer instances, and we still are, but everyone is wearing their masks and doing precisely what we’ve asked,” Savoie adds.

He estimates that close to 200 vendors attended this year, compared to the normal 300.

Young says her Soap Shack stall has been a little slower this year, but having leftover products from this year isn’t a huge deal.

“It’s fine if you have a supply of soap since, in fact, the older the soap, the better it gets.”

“It’s similar to wine.” “It’s lovely when it’s aged,” she says.

While this year’s Christmas at the Coliseum is over, both the Soap Shack and Le Woof may be found every Saturday at the Moncton Farmer’s Market.

Source: Global News

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