This coming Saturday marks the third occurrence of the Elmwood Village Farmers Market. That means that the organizers, and the attendees, have had some time to get adjusted to the new COVID-19 safety precautions that are in place.
If there was ever a form of “normalcy” during times of pseudo-quarantine, it would have to be a visit to a farmers’ market. Unlike trips to grocery stores, where it can be hard to properly social distance, open air markets are literally a breath of fresh air. On a sunny Saturday afternoon, there’s no place like the intersection of Elmwood and Bidwell Parkway – that longstanding market has become a fixture in the lives of countless people who are on the hunt for locally sources fruits, vegetables, baked goods, organics, fresh meat, cut flowers, wine, craft beer, spirits, eggs, dairy, honey, maple syrup, and cheese, among other organic and wholesome goods.
“They’re doing it right,” said Elmwood villager Tom Mooney, who attended the first two 2020 Saturday market events. ”
They spaced out the vendors, created a cuing system, they have friendly ambassadors reminding people to wear masks – the organizers did a great job, from the foot-pump hand sanitizer stations to the cleanliness of the bathrooms. There were also two different sink setups, foot operated as well. All of the details were thought through – the lanes down the market were so huge that you could really keep a safe distance from others.”
New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan laid out the changes that people can expect to see in 2020:
- Vendors will not be on the both sides of the Parkway, but rather in one long row to allow for proper social distancing between stands.
- Ideally, market-goers should enter at Elmwood Avenue which will be considered the entrance of the market and vendors will extend down past West Delavan into that section of the Parkway.
- Vendors and customers will be required to wear face masks per the guidelines set forth by NYS Agriculture & Markets (until further notice)
- Each vendor stand will have a minimum of two staff members. One person to handle transactions and the other to handle distribution of goods.
- Vendors are required to wear gloves or sanitize their hands after every transaction
- Hand sanitizer stations will be available for use throughout the market courtesy of BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York
- The market has organized a group of volunteers to act as Market Guides to assist in guiding community flow and help make their shopping experience easier and more efficient. Those interested in volunteering can sign-up at www.elmwoodmarket.org
- Musical entertainment, non-food vendors and seating are not permitted at the market until further notice per the guidelines of the NYS Agriculture & Markets
The market will run Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., rain or shine, through November.
For more information, visit www.elmwoodmarket.org.
Photos courtesy Tom Mooney