GREAT FALLS — While the Great Falls Farmers’ Market usually begins the first week of June, this year's start date has yet to be determined.
Market manager Michele Wynn that means the fate of this year’s market depends on how quickly the state transitions to Phase Three of the state re-opening plan.
“If the governor puts our state into Phase Three by the beginning of July...we would then need all of July to send out the apps (applications), wait for the apps to come in,” Wynn said.
Although some communities have resumed their farmers markets prior to Phase Three, Wynn explained that doing so poses many challenges, such as the market being limited to only one entrance and one exit, required sanitation stations, and strict guidelines requiring customers to walk in only one direction.
“Obviously other markets are going on in Helena and Missoula, but the way that ours is set up with our booth spaces and we have numerous entrances and numerous exits, and so it would be very hard for us to maintain and I guess really enforce that,” Wynn said.
If the state moves to Phase Three by the beginning of July, Wynn said she would like the season to last from August through September. “There’s a lot of work that would need to be done in preparation but if that were all to take place, we would ideally like to begin at the beginning of August so we could at least have the market downtown for August and September as usual,” Wynn said.
If the Farmers Market does start up this year, it will be very similar to those of years past - with open attendance and no masks required.
“When people go there, hopefully in August, it’s really not going to be any different than how it has been in years past,” Wynn said.
While the market may still take place, Wynn said there’s also a possibility the season will be canceled this year. “If you're only talking two or three weeks, I don’t know if we would move forward in doing that if it’s that short an amount of time,” Wynn said.
If the farmers market does take place this year, vendor applications will be sent out at the onset of Phase Three. Click here to keep up with any developments on the Farmers Market Facebook page.