Second season starts for Farmers’ Market in the Park

It will not look quite the same. At least not to start. But the second season of Farmers’ Market in the Park will get underway regardless on Saturday, May 23, in Arnolds Park with plans to continue every Saturday through September.

The market will be able to offer a variety of fresh, local farm products 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

“Basically what we can have as of today are farm products, which would include produce, honey and some baked goods. We will also have fresh meat from two different vendors,” said Krissy Thiessen, founder of Farmers’ Market in the Park.

What they won’t be able to have, at least for the time being, are children’s activities, yoga class, live music or other vendors that are still deemed “nonessential” businesses.

Before COVID-19 restrictions being put in place, Farmers’ Market in the Park had every weekend booked with bands, activities and a full slate of 40 vendors signed up for spaces, which is almost double the number they had last year.

As of now, about 15 of those vendors will be able to set up stalls on Lake Street between Arnolds Park Amusement Park and Queens Court.

All the rest will be ready to step in as soon as they get the green light to do so.

“What I’ve been telling people is just that it’s a fluid situation, which we are monitoring closely and we anticipate making weekly or monthly changes to accommodate that. We’re hopeful that sometime in June more restrictions will lift,” Thiessen said. “We are working really closely with Public Health, the ISU Extension office and following everything in the governor’s proclamations so everyone should feel safe and comfortable coming down here.”

For now, the vendors that are able to set up shop will be spaced further apart and encouraged to wear masks and gloves, as well as separate the tasks of handling cash and produce.

Thiessen noted that they are also encouraging people to contact vendors ahead of time and if possible place orders and pay online so they simply have to pick up their produce on arrival at the market.

Vendor information will be made available on the Farmers’ Market in the Park website and Facebook page.