Every Saturday from the end of April to the end of October an area just on the edge of town called Cottonwood Market magically comes to life. I try to go as often as I can.
It's more than just a spot to buy local produce. It is the largest market in the West Kootenays with a unique setting beside some waterfalls and a small park. It's the stomping grounds of young and old alike and is a mecca for the diversity that colours this region.
It's a time to mingle, zen out and take it all in. It is a spot where one can find organic farm products, ethnic baking, preserves, crafts, import clothing, jewelry, and various collectibles or used items.
It's also a spot to mellow out and listen to some local musical talent, be it a band with a Latino flare or Russian gypsy music. The locals aren't shy about rhythmically moving to the beat of the drum, stomping their feet or simply nodding their head to the flow of the music.
One can attend every single market and honestly say that no two are ever alike. Creativity and a unique culture unquestionably flourish here. There have been many visitors who I have taken to Cottonwood and the response is almost universally big eyes, gaping mouth, nodding head and then finally, "ah...this is Nelson." If you are ever in the region, make sure you stop by the Cottonwood market where tourists and locals alike converge for an unrivaled Kootenay experience.