Thousands flock to St. Mark’s Fair in Qualicum Beach

The 40th edition of St. Mark’s Fair in Qualicum Beach drew thousands of eager shoppers

Hanah Aldridge

Hanah Aldridge

The 40th edition of St. Mark’s Fair in Qualicum Beach drew thousands of eager shoppers to Veterans Way Saturday, despite intense competition from other events in the community.

St. Mark’s publicity chair Suzanne Adkins said the 140 booths set up was more than ever and while the crowds weren’t perhaps quite as thick as in some past years, she’s confident St. Mark’s will have raised somewhere between the $16,000 and $18,000 it has brought in historically.

“Most of the  vendors felt they had a good day,” she said. “Nobody said it had been a slow day or not a good day. We didn’t sense there were as many people, but maybe it was more of a steady stream than in the past.”

The money, she said, will go to worthy causes in Qualicum Beach, including the purchase of needed equipment for the Eagle Park seniors facility as well as a daily lunch program for Qualicum Beach Middle School and funding a youth worker.

“Last year we bought all new bed tables for the residents,” she said. “They were in desperate shape but not bad enough for the government to replace them. In the past we have also purchased  a blanket warmer and a reclining chair for people who are visiting and who don’t want to leave for the night.”

This year’s purchase, she said, has not been determined, but the church will take the advice of staff at Eagle Park to determine what it will be.

“It’s up to the facility to tell us what they need,” Adkins said.

One added feature this year, she noted, was the provision of four electric vehicles, sponsored by the municipality, which shuttled visitors not only to St. Mark’s but also to The Old School House arts centre and local stores.

“We hope the electric transport the town provided allowed people to come down and visit local stores, which is an important,” she said.

Adkins was also pleased at The Gardens in Qualicum Beach becoming a partner in the event, joining the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 76, St. Stephen’s Church and the Qualicum Beach Curling Club.