MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – After weathering a long winter, the Morgantown Farmers Market held its first summer market of 2021 on Saturday, May 1.
The market was packed with shoppers looking to buy produce, vegetables, plants, honey, pepperoni rolls and lots more. The market opened at 8:30 a.m. and after two hours, Ali Howard, the market manager said, 200-300 people had stopped by.
“There has been a ton of people here today and that is probably due to some of our COVID restrictions have been lifted, so you don’t have to stand in line anymore,” Howard said. “We only ask you to wear a mask and social distance.”
The loosening of restrictions, combined with a sunny, although brisk, morning, was the best combination the market could ask for.
Seeing so many market-goers browse freely, without a capacity limit, Howard said, was exciting.
“We’re really excited that we’re out here,” she said. “This is just easier for people to get to because it’s downtown and people can walk here and it is really exciting that we can, you know, just have to wear a mask. Nobody has to stand in line. We don’t have to count how many customers come in at once, so that helps the customers out a lot because they can come and go whenever.”
At the height of the pandemic, the farmers market implemented a drive-thru pick-up system and allowed customers to pre-order their items. Now, Howard said, the drive-thru is gone.
However, customers who still don’t feel safe about attending the market, or are limited by time constraints, can still pre-order online.
“You can just walk up to the market table and we will go and get it for you,” Howard said.
This service, is only offered by select vendors, but still leaves customers with a lot of options.
Howard said she understands many people remain hesitant to visit the market in person. But, she had a message to, hopefully, encourage them to think about coming back.
“I would say that you can be safe here because everybody is going to wear a mask and distance themselves. And if you really don’t want to come then you can always preorder and that is easier.”