BLOOMINGTON — The Bloomington Community Farmers' Market is set to open back up on Saturday after a two-week suspension due to public safety concerns, according to Bloomington Mayor John Hamilton.
Hamilton announced his plan to reopen the market on Tuesday with new regulations to protect the public's safety.
The reopened market will include the following new aspects, as quoted from the City of Bloomington website:
- Cameras to monitor the site will enhance safety.
- Two public streets will be closed to traffic during market hours to create a larger comfort zone for the market crowd (Morton Street from 7th to just south of the Smallwood garage entrance, and 7th Street between Morton and the B-Line Trail; 8th Street will be closed west of the market to the entrance of the Cook Medical Center).
- The presence of police and other professional public safety officers will be increased.
- New “market ambassadors,” volunteers with experience and commitment to the market, will welcome folks back and be visible embodiments of the inclusive spirit (If you’d like to join these market boosters, please let us know).
- New signage will clearly indicate areas designated for flyering and expression and publicize market rules.
The farmers market was suspended for two weeks in late July due to public safety concerns as tensions mounted in the community.
Protesters began to target local vendor, Schooner Creek Farm, after a report in the Daily Beast exposed the vendor's owner, Sarah Dye, had posted in online chatrooms that is connected to the white supremacy group 'Identity Europa.'
One protester was arrested by the Bloomington Police Department on Criminal Trespassing charges a few days before the mayor announced his decision to suspend the market.
The protester reportedly refused to move from in front of Schooner Creek Farm's booth, holding a sign that encouraged boycotting of the vendor.
The Bloomington Community Farmer's Market will still operate at its usual time from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday at the Showers Common.
You can read how the mayor came to his decision on the market's new regulations here.