The Ames Main Street Farmers' Market will reopen Saturday with social distancing measures and no additional activities.
The Council approved to allow the Ames Main Street Farmers' Market to reopen, with no food trucks, no food prepared on site — hot or cold — and no alcohol or wine tasting, May 12.
“The vendors will be social distancing, so they will be spread out so it's easy for the customers to also social distance, and the vendors themselves will be wearing gloves and masks and they will be the only ones handling the product down at the market,” said Lojean Petersen, the manager of Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market. “So we encourage people not to touch things just to keep it safe for other customers and we won't have any activities going on. So it'll be very different but, yet a great place to meet your farmers and buy the local, fresh produce and items at the market.”
The market will be limited to 600 visitors at a time and will exclude any entertainment or seating areas, vendors will be spaced at least six feet apart from each other. Self-protection measures such as bringing personal hand sanitizer, staying home when sick and wearing a mask are encouraged by the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market.
“So all of our music, which we will clearly miss, at least until the restrictions are lifted. All of our children's events are petting zoos, face painting, those types of things,” Petersen said. “We won't have any art projects that we usually offer for free for children. In fact, we kind of ask that maybe the children stay at home so we can just have fewer people at the market.”
On May 9, a virtual market was created and it will continue throughout the season, located from the back door of the Ames Chamber of Commerce for curbside pickup. It is advised by the Ames Main Street Farmers’ Market to enter through the South parking lots from the 100 block, a time frame will be given for online orders to minimize the number of cars waiting in the parking lot.
“Even though we have Sunday online program or an online market that can be used for those who aren't comfortable coming down to the market,” Petersen said. “I think it's important to have the outdoor market for those that don't have the opportunity to order it online or would just rather be out in the fresh air and see what they're buying.”
The city of Ames will not enforce the farmers' market safety guidelines and practices, though the city reserves the right to rescind the permit.
The event will take place from 8 a.m. to noon on the 300 and 400 blocks of Main Street.