Cochrane Street Market
Third Thursday Each Month June to Sept
Fresh produce? Check. Food trucks? Check. Live music? Check. A host of eclectic vendors selling home-made goodies? The street was lined with them. Indeed, our mid-summer visit to the Cochrane Street Market had all the ingredients for a memorable half-day getaway from the big-city burbs.
When the warm, smokey evenings of summer inevitably come, there are some activities that speak louder than others. For us (my wife, Dawn, and my son, Nick, 11, accompanied me), a laissez-faire lap or two along a historic street in one of the most charming communities in Western Canada fit the bill perfectly.
Located in Cochrane’s Historic Downtown
Like many small towns in “the west,” Cochrane boasts an atmosphere, a vibe, that’s best described as grassroots and rural. It ain’t Disneyland. It’s authentic. It’s real. That’s a good thing. And the Cochrane Street Market is the perfect “showcase” for Cochrane’s western ways.
During our two hours or so at the market, we tasted some of the best beef jerky I’ve ever had. Sipped delicious locally-brewed craft beer (Farmer’s Daughter Pale Ale from Half Hitch hit the spot.) Tried homemade habanero salsa. Meat pies. Organic berries. Craft coffee. And, after our palates had been pampered, we viewed rustic art. Spectacular photography. Jewelry. Every table, a friendly face, a story, a reminder of why a local market is one of the best places to get the “inside scoop” on what makes a small town tick.
Not surprisingly, after sauntering around the market, an ice cream at the legendary MacKay’s Ice Cream shop was a perfect way to cap off the experience. With cones in hand (my favourite is the chocolate peanut butter), we moseyed over to the central square to check out the music.
No, this wasn’t some slick, five-piece outfit from Nashville. It was a group of passionate locals belting out the country classics. True, the performance wasn’t quite on par with the Grand Ole Opry. But, like the town itself, it was authentic. It worked. And everybody, including my little posse, left satisfied on every front.