CORONAVIRUS

First two Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market will be drive-through only

People order online, can pick up orders June 6 and June 20

People walk through the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers' Market on Aug. 18, 2018. The first two farmers markets in Cedar R
People walk through the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Market on Aug. 18, 2018. The first two farmers markets in Cedar Rapids this year will be drive-through only, in a plan announced this week by the Cedar Rapids Metro economic Alliance. The Gazette)

CEDAR RAPIDS — The first two Downtown Farmers Markets in Cedar Rapids will be drive-through markets on June 6 and June 20 — an unprecedented plan to handle an unprecedented time of coronavirus social distancing.

About 30 food vendors are expected to participate, according to the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, which manages the popular market that, in normal times, draws hundreds of people downtown on summer Saturdays.

“The health and safety of our attendees, vendors, staff and volunteers is our top priority,” Ellie Evans, events planner for the economic alliance, said in a news release.

After the first two markets, the public health situation will be re-evaluated and plans made for the rest of the season.

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced April 24 that farmers markets around the state could be held, but with rules.

The guidelines in place to limit the size of crowds include only one family member doing the shopping, with 6-foot social distancing in place.

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Markets for June 6 and 20 will work like this:

• The market will be limited to vendors selling only food and farm products, per the Iowa governor’s order.

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• People can place their orders online in the days before the market.

• Online orders for the June 6 market can be placed from May 25 to 6 p.m. June 4. No on-site purchases will be allowed.

• After placing an order, people will receive an order number. They put the number on a sign to display on the windshield of their cars when they go to pick up their order.

• Orders can be picked up from vendors between 7:30 a.m. and noon.

• Customers will pull into a vendor’s designated pickup zone to collect their orders.

• Drivers are expected to remain in their cars, with the vendor placing orders in the trunk or back seat.

The location and lists of vendors and products for the June 6 market will be available soon online.

The vendors for the June 20 drive-through market will be announced later.

Comments: (319) 398-8259; jeff.johnson@thegazette.com

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