Support Local Journalism


Subscribe


A year ago, opening day at the Ellensburg Farmers Market was the city’s first public gathering since the pandemic shut it all down and health restrictions became the new normal.

With increasing vaccinations and a better understanding of what is being asked, the restrictions seem less constrictive. Ellensburg remains in Phase 3 and the Farmers Market will open on Saturday with a footprint to follow from last year’s operation, market manager Colin Lamb said.

“Last year went really well and sales were actually comparable to 2019, even though we did miss a couple of weeks because we started late,” Lamb said. “The market setup is going to be the same footprint. The booths will be staggered and separated from each other like they were last year.

“I’m literally making it up as I go, but we’ll stay with the one-way traffic. People seemed to like that and want to keep that for post-COVID. It was really a smooth way to keep things moving.”

SAME FOOTPRINT

Where people had their apprehensions a year ago with the procedural changes, social distancing, chalked lines and cones, this year is expected to run even more smoothly because of a better understanding of how things work.

They will continue to follow safety protocols. Participants are asked to have a shopping list mapped out and try to wrap things up within 25-30 minutes. Lamb asks that people show a little respect for their fellow shoppers, wearing a mask covering the entire face, no product sampling and limit customer contact by not touching anything they do not plan on buying.

SOCIAL DISTANCING

“We have always been proud to be a dog-friendly market, but now we ask people leave their dogs at home,” Lamb said. “People tend to be drawn to dogs and less concerned about social distancing.

“But last year, I would say nine out of 10 people left their dogs at home and it really made the market run a lot smoother. People tend to want to talk to the owner or pet the dog. Hopefully, we’ll get back to a time where people can come and hang out, bring their dog and kids. But right now, we need to pay attention to the guidelines that have us moving forward in Phase 3.”

They expect 25 to 30 vendors with food options, longtime vendors and new products. The guidelines are not new anymore and if market goers can follow the footprints set down last year it will still be an enjoyable experience and a tradition moving forward in the pandemic world, Lamb said.

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at rharwood@kvnews.com

Comments

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.