INDIANAPOLIS — An aspect of normalcy will return to the City Market Wednesday morning when the Original Farmers' Market opens for the first time in 2020.
Some new rules and safety precautions will be in effect when the market, which the state deemed an essential business during the COVID-19 pandemic, opens at 9:30 a.m., but shoppers will still find the familiar vendors selling items ranging from produce to baked goods.
“We couldn’t be more thrilled that farmers’ markets throughout Central Indiana are under the same essential business category as grocery stores and can open to our community,” City Market executive director Stevi Stoesz said. “Although it will look a little different, we are encouraging Hoosiers to stay healthy and shop safely, while supporting our community of local farmers and food makers.”
According to a news release, the City Market will not allow prepared food, home-based vendors or demos and sampling. All food sold at the farmers' market must be pre-packaged in a licensed facility and labeled according to federal guidelines.
Additionally, food cannot be eaten at the farmers' market and there will be no live entertainment.
Shoppers will also be asked to shop on their own, leave pets at home — other than service animals — and practice social distancing. The City Market will have markers in front of vendors' stations to encourage people to stand six feet away from others.
Hand-washing stations will be available, but the City Market asks people to bring their own gloves and masks and pre-pay and pre-order with individual vendors. Contact information for vendors can be found on the City Market's website.
“Our market is known for being a wonderful community gathering place, but for now we must recognize that it will be a place to pick up groceries safely under new requirements,” Stoesz said. “It’s hard to know how people will respond to the new modifications that are going in place, but we hope people will come show for great local food.”
In its 24th season, the Original Farmers' Market is open from 9:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Wednesdays from May-October.