116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
IOWA CITY - The City of Iowa City plans to welcome visitors back to its in-person Farmers Market this year.
While it won't be the social event of the past this year, Farmers Market Coordinator Tammy Neumann said the market is scheduled to return on May 1. Visitors and vendors will be required to wear masks. Neumann also said city staff will be keeping an eye on the number of customers to ensure social distancing, as well.
'We may ask customers to wait in line until someone else exits the market,” she said. 'We'll be asking them to be conscientious of (social distancing) when they're at the vendor table.”
When COVID-19 hit, the city switched to an online format for the Farmers Market. Neumann said patrons were able to shop online for their goods, schedule a pickup time and then drive up to get their items. The online market did 'really well,” Neumann said.
The returning in-person market should have the same layout as previous years, Neumann said. The previous configuration allowed for six feet of distance between vendors. Between those in the Chauncey Swan parking ramp and others situated on Washington Street in front of City Hall, the Farmers Market historically has about 100 vendors and Neumann is expecting the same number this year - with some changes.
'We do have some of our vendors who are opting out of 2021,” Neumann said. 'They are committed to returning in 2022.”
While the city typically wouldn't allow a vendor to leave one season and automatically return the next, Neumann said they understand the apprehension that remains tied to the pandemic and will allow those vendors to reclaim their spot next year.
The vacancies have allowed the city to open up the opportunity for new vendors to sell their goods or products at the market this year. While farmers with fresh, locally grown product will be given priority for the open spots, qualified vendors selling 'locally grown, homemade or artisan products” are encouraged to apply.
Interested vendors can apply online at www.managemymarket.com.
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