MANITOWOC, Wis. (NBC 26) — After a three week delay due to Safer at Home orders, the Downtown Manitowoc Farmers Market has officially opened for the season Saturday.
“Basically, we had to make sure that the vendors were spaced out properly so we have a space between each vendor, and hand sanitizers,” market manager Lauren Philippsen said. “Things like that. Social distancing. We’re just trying to put a lot of things in place just to keep people safe, but also make sure we are supporting our local farmers and vendors.”
According to Philippsen, there were technical difficulties trying to connect with more than 50 vendors while coronavirus guidelines were fluid across Wisconsin counties.
“First vendor meeting was last week over Zoom, and unfortunately a lot of people didn’t know quite how to work that program so we didn’t have a huge turnout,” Philippsen said. “But we were able to keep in contact via phone, via email.
“I think there was so much confusion just when the state kept kind of bringing back laws that were already set in place,” Philippsen said.
For now, vendors are required to wear masks, and customers are encouraged. Market management acknowledged that these rules might be in place for the entire market season this year, but they are evaluating everything weekly.
“I’m just kind of planning that this is how it’s gonna be, and I think that’s ok,” Phillipsen said. “I think that it’s more important to be erring on the side of caution than to just go and say oh its fine — because it’s not. There are still a lot of people that are sick, and I think we have to be realistic about, about that.”
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