The 9th annual Garlic Fest is still on at the Big Yellow Merville hall will be on SUNDAY, August 16th, 2020.  Selling hours are from noon to 4pm.  Vendors will be allowed in to set up at 10:00, no sooner.  No one is to enter the field or courtyard before 10:00.  A bell will be rung at 10:00.  Customers will be allowed to purchase at 12:00 and no sooner.  A bell will be rung at 12:00. 

Due to COVID restrictions, the whole event will be outside this year.  The hall and out buildings will not be accessible.  The hall kitchen will be serving neither food nor drink.  Washroom activity will also be limited as customers are being encouraged to make their purchases to support the vendors and then leave the site to make way for other customers.  Vendors will have access to washrooms through the top hall door that faces the courtyard.

Vendors must ensure that their customers practise appropriate handwashing, mask wearing and social distancing protocols.  Keep the customers moving so that there is no congregating.  Volunteers will be there to help move the customers.  Be aware of the spread of the Covid virus.  We want everyone to eat their garlic and stay healthy. 

Parking for customers will be in the hall entrance area and overflow in the field.  Traffic will be One Way with the start at the north side of the site, on Fenwick Road, and the exit to the south through the gate and onto the highway.  Vendors should have tents or appropriate coverings.  There will be tents set up in the courtyard, around the buildings and in the front part of the field.  Vehicles that are part of the setup must be parked parallel to the tents.  If you do not need your vehicle, please move it to the far end of the field, or down Fenwick Road, to make way for paying customers.

Vendors do not need to fill in an application form for the Garlic Fest but you should have a copy of your food safe certificate with you.

Volunteers to help with parking and organizing vendors would be greatly appreciated.  Please get in touch, by email, if you would like to help with this event.

The following information has already been sent out and is included for those of you who are new to the sign up list:

This year the GARLICFEST at the Big Yellow Merville hall will be on SUNDAY, August 16th, 2020.  Time will be from noon to 4pm.  No sales to the public before noon and this year we will have to be careful with the social distancing rules.  There will be no vendors inside the hall so you’ll need tents and awnings for the outside.  Washroom access will be restricted to vendors only and customers are to be on the site briefly and move on. 

This year, the cost will be $25.00/table or 5% of sales, whichever is greater.  Naturally, we have to work on the Honour System so we’ll be coming around towards the end of the day to collect, when sales are close to being finalized.  There have been some issues previously regarding vendors not paying the 5% when they have made significant sales so please realize that this is a major fundraiser for the Merville Community Association and the venue is offering participants an excellent opportunity to make a substantial profit so please respect the payment format.

The organizers will tell you where to set up when you arrive at the site.  If vehicles are part of the setup they must be parked parallel to the tents to allow for more space.  Otherwise, vehicles will be parked at the far end of the field to allow for customers to park closer to the market.  There are limited power outlets so, with the expected number of participants, don’t expect to be guaranteed a power connection.

The rules from the Vancouver Island Health Authority apply and are outlined in the requirements from the Guidelines for Temporary Markets.  In addition refer to the Provincial Order for Vending Markets (COVID-19 specific requirements).  For information see the following link for the Order https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/health/about-bc-s-health-care-system/office-of-the-provincial-health-officer/current-health-topics/covid-19-novel-coronavirus

The biggest requirement is to prevent congestion and congregation in order to prevent the transmission of COVID-19.  The mentality needs to be “pick-up items and go.”  Some of the rule highlights are:

There should be frequent cleaning and disinfection of booths and high touch surfaces, by vendors.

Vendors should be set up with adequate distance between booths.

There is to be no sampling of foods.

Any ready-to-eat foods must be pre-packaged into closed take-away containers.

Practise physical distancing and do not enter if sick.  

See http://www.bccdc.ca/health-info/diseases-conditions/covid-19/community-settings/farmers-markets.  Other guidelines have been attached to this email and should be read by vendors.

Some processed garlic products are not permitted so any vendor who is selling processed garlic products must send me a list of their products so that I can have the VIHA boys check out whether or not the products can be sold at the Fest. It is very important that these vendors send me the details so that there are no problems arising during the day of the sale.

Things will be a little different this year so you’ll have to bear with us.  We do look forward to seeing everyone with their vast collections of produce.  And, of course, non-restricted articles, apart from garlic, are also welcome.

So, folks, the Garlic Fest starts at 12:00 noon, Sunday, August 16th, and the festival runs to 4:00 pm.  A special notice for the Early Bird Shoppers: You will have to wait for the Starting Bell at 12:00 noon, before you can purchase anything.  Hope to see you at the hall for a stinkin’ good time!