Hopefully, visitors won’t have to stay “two llamas apart” when Alberta Open Farm Days rolls around in August.
The nine-year-old event stayed calm and carried on last summer, with 77 host farms (and two dozen culinary events) welcoming socially distanced visitors. That was only about half the usual number, and activities that put people in close contact — such as hayrides or long-table dinners — weren’t allowed.
But it was important to keep the event going, organizers said.
“Since 2013, Open Farm Days has seen nearly 134,000 person visits, injecting close to $1 million into the rural economy through on-farm sales,” the provincial ag ministry said in a recent release. “Since its launch, 711 Alberta farms have been enjoyed by the public.”
Heading into the last week of April, 30 farms and related businesses (such as breweries) had already signed up and organizers were expecting more than 80 operations to sign up by the May 31 registration deadline. The event will be held the weekend of Aug. 14-15, and farms can participate either day or both days.
They are provided with support materials for marketing, events, and COVID-19 regulations. This year, farms interested in showcasing craft beverages from local brewers and distillers at their event are urged to “explore new permits or licence options” with the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission.