After getting a late start last season due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Turlock Certified Farmers Market is set to open on time during the first weekend of May and will now operate through the end of October.
Starting a month later than usual last year allowed TCFM to implement health and safety measures which kept everyone safe while shopping on Main Street during the pandemic, with increased sanitization stations, distanced vendor booths and more. Despite the COVID crisis, TCFM Board President Theresa Kiehn said the market didn’t experience a drop in attendance in 2020.
“We were really thrilled with how it went last year. We tried to implement as much social distancing as we possibly could while also understanding that providing fresh fruits and vegetables is essential,” she said. “Since folks weren’t able to go to things like soccer or baseball games, I felt like the market was a bright spot during a time when we were all just trying to get through it.”
The market typically runs from May 1 through the last weekend of September, but after feedback from customers TCFM decided to extend the season through Oct. 30, meaning one more month of fresh produce, artisan goods and freshly baked food for market fans.
The market is already at capacity with vendors, Kiehn said, and some new booths will be added this year like Hen and Harvest Green Vine Canning and Family Farms. Live music will also return to the market, as will the Friends of the Market program and a new venture, Business Friends of the Market. According to Kiehn, the Business Friends of the Market program aims to provide opportunities for Turlock businesses to connect directly with farmers market supporters while featuring the services and products offered in the community.
Like last season, plenty of safety measures will be in place to prevent the spread of COVID, and TCFM asks that attendees wear masks.
“COVID isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. We’re excited that things are opening up, but we want to create a safe space for people to come.” Kiehn said.
The Turlock Certified Farmers Market will kick off the 2021 season on May 1 and will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. every Saturday on Main Street between Palm Street and Center Street.
“We’ve heard a lot of excitement with the businesses downtown and people are even asking us to expand,” Kiehn said. “That tells me everybody’s ready to get back to it and really enjoy the fruits of the season.”