SALT LAKE CITY — With concerns about large gatherings in the middle of a global pandemic, many wondered if Salt Lake’s Downtown Farmers Market would happen this year.
Word came Wednesday that it will happen, but with some changes.
Pioneer Park will once again be filled with local farmers and their produce beginning this Saturday, June 13.
However, due to COVID-19 concerns, the emphasis this summer will be on social distancing and safety rather than socializing.
That means this will be a streamlined Farmers Market with condensed hours.
“Different doesn’t mean bad," said Tyler Montague, who owns and operates Keep it Real Vegetables. "And safety is important so everyone is going to have to make concessions for safety but all the food will be there for the people.”
The market will be held on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. No dogs or pets will be allowed and customers will have to point out what they want from the vendors instead of picking out their fruits and vegetables.
“Yeah, the pandemic has changed our behaviors but that doesn’t mean the cherries aren’t going to grow, it doesn’t mean the farmers aren’t going to plant food so we need to support our local businesses as much as possible right now," said Alison Einerson, Director of the Downtown Farmers Market.
Organizers say it’s more important than ever to not only support local farmers and producers but also to eat fresh produce, poultry and meats.
“I mean local food that’s been touched by one or two people maybe, picked the day before it’s brought to market is probably the safest, healthiest food you could be eating in a time like this," Montague said.
He added that the emphasis this year will be on safety.
“We’re going to have hand-washing stations, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, we’ll be sterilizing our tables hourly so we think it’s going to be a safe environment and we really hope that people come support us.”
This will be the 29th annual Downtown Farmers Market.
Organizers are also asking that entire families don't come this year. Instead maybe one or two family members can go so other small groups and individuals can enjoy the market at safe distances.