St. Marys Farmers Market Kids Corner: programmed by local businesses and service clubs

It was no surprise when the St. Marys Farmers’ Market board began brainstorming youth-friendly activities for the Market. The husband and wife management team have young children as do a number of the board members. Knowing they were short on resources but part of a great local community, they reached out for help. Board member Erin McArthur approached local businesses and service clubs seeking sponsorship and programming. The results were amazing – the Kids Corner was launched with a full season of programming.

“Harris-Greig Automotive, a family-owned local garage, had a really creative idea – have kids make cars out of vegetables – who would have thought? It was one of the most popular events and the kids loved it!”, said board member Ann Slater.

What happens?

  • The market promotes the Kids Corner activity and the business or organization involved on the market’s website, Facebook page and in the local newspaper.
  • A youth-friendly activity takes place at the market each Saturday from 9-11am from early June to the end of October.
  • Parents are asked to stay with children under 10 years of age.
  • The business or service club is responsible for organizing and undertaking all aspects of the activity.

Who makes it happen?

  • The St. Marys Market promotes the Kids Corner on their website asking for partners and sponsors.
  • Board member Erin McArthur approaches businesses and service clubs to fill the summer schedule.
  • The St. Marys Farmers’ Market provides the space.
  • The community business or service club is responsible for organizing the activity and providing/paying for any materials and providing the staff or volunteers that deliver the two-hours of programming.

What were the results in year one?

  • Twenty-one weeks of youth-friendly programming.
  • Over 400 youth participated in the Kids Corner activities.
  • Seven local businesses got involved: Stonetown Karate, Harris-Greig Automotive, Yoga with Allie, Sam’s Home Hardware, Village Craft and Candles, Paint and Palette, and Barista’s.
  • Five local service clubs and community organizations participated: Marys Brownies and Sparks, St. Marys Scouts, St. Marys Museum, St. Marys and Area Community Living and, St. Marys Fire Department.
  • The market has engaged youth, businesses and service clubs, demonstrating the important role the market plays in the community.

It took one energetic volunteer and our amazing small town to make the Kids Corner happen!”

Ann Slater, St. Marys Farmers’ Market board member

Getting the community involved in the Kids Corner was easy – they love our market and want to be a part of it.”

Erin McArthur, St. Marys Farmers’ Market board member

The St. Marys Farmers’ Market was established in 1992. It operates in downtown St. Marys Saturdays from 8 am to 12 noon from Victoria Day weekend through Halloween and moves indoors from November to May operating the 1st Saturday of every month.

For more information on the St. Marys Farmers’ Market Kids Corner, contact board member Erin McArthur at