Holland Farmers Market opens with safety precautions


HOLLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — As the weather warms up during the pandemic, life is starting to inch toward normalcy.

And the Holland Farmers Market, which had its opening day Wednesday, is hoping to help keep people calm and comfortable.

“Everybody’s happy and anxious to get out, and it just feels like normal for a brief amount of time,” said Anne Sauber of Holland.

A photo of the Holland Farmers Market on May 13, 2020.
A photo of the Holland Farmers Market on May 13, 2020.

“My glasses fog up a little bit more now than they would have in the past, but it’s been good,” said Jeff Groth, another resident of the city, referring to wearing a mask.

The Eighth Street Market Place is more than grocery shopping for people — it’s a much-needed mental boost.

“It’s great to get a sense of normalcy returned,” said Groth. “And to me, this is a really big deal.”

>>>LISTING: W. MI farmers markets open with COVID-19 procedures

“They’ve thought of everything, so I think there’s no reason not to come. It’s a beautiful day, let’s get out and support our local businesses,” said Sauber.

There are several guidelines in place to make sure that this year’s farmer’s market in Holland goes off without a hitch, including masks, distancing tape and restrictions on the number of people allowed in and out.

“Right now, we believe it’s going to be about 150 people based on the square footage and the number of vendors we have, so it’s quite a big difference,” said Kara de Alvare, marketing coordinator for the Holland Farmers Market.

But to keep the market up and running, the farmers are doing all they can to keep it all safe — even if it means taking a little more time to cash out.

“We used to be able to display up on the front and they can grab what they want, but now we all have to do that individually,” said Stephanie Holstege, a vendor from TerAvest Farms. “So, time just takes longer with customers. And even with hanging baskets, they’re not allowed to walk through and grab them themselves.”

And if we mind each other’s space, the market is expected to keep going all the way to December.

“Everyone loves the market and for it to work, we really have to come together and all do our part,” said de Alvare.

The market is open from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Organizers are still mulling over whether there will be a Monday Night Market this year. That will be a decision for a later day as they see how much interest people have.

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