The Kingsport Farmers Market will begin its 2020 season on Saturday, May 23. In order to keep vendors and market-goers as safe as possible, some operations have changed.
“We’re excited to get the season underway,” said Kristie Leonard, market manager and Special Events Coordinator for Kingsport. “But for us to be able to open and continue to operate this season, this won’t be our market as usual.”
At the direction of the Sullivan County Regional Health Department, the market will implement new protocols for guests and vendors alike.
The most obvious change will be in how you enter and exit the market. There will now be designated, clearly marked entry and exit points, as well as signage inside the market to help visitors navigate the new vendor layout. To create adequate space between vendors, parking has been modified (see map). Overflow parking is available in the Kingsport Chamber of Commerce lot.
The CDC and the SCRHD recommend that people wear masks when visiting public places like the market.
All market programs, including Saturdays with the Chef and the Homegrown Gardening series, have been suspended until further notice. Anyone who needs to redeem SNAP benefits may do so at the market kiosk.
So what do market visitors need to prepare for?
– If you feel sick or experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, stay home.
– Be alert and follow all posted signage in the market.
– Maintain at least six feet of space between yourself and others. Look for physical cues like tape, chalk and signage to help you remember.
– Be prepared to shop quickly and efficiently. Farmers markets are often social place, but it’s important right now to refrain from socializing in groups for a long period of time.
– Only touch produce you intend to purchase. Allow vendors to help you with produce.
– Please bring small bills or exact change to limit cash transactions.
– You may bring reusable bags, but please do not pass to vendors to fill. Your vendor will hand bagged products to you for you to place in your bag. Vendors will have a limited number of paper and reusable bags on hand.
– Do not eat on site—take all foods to go.
– Wash all produce when you arrive home.
– Please respect vendors by leaving adequate space between yourself and them. Do not go behind a vendor table.
– Leave your furry friends at home. To maintain the quick and easy flow of customers through the market, only service animals will be allowed at this time.
– Wash and sanitize your hands often.
Wednesday markets will begin on June 3. To learn more about the Kingsport Farmers Market, please visit kingsportfarmersmarket.org.