The Farmers Market looks different this year

Gabriel Lizama, Staff Reporter

The Ellensburg Farmers Market will open May 23 with new safety precautions. 

In recent years, the Farmers Market has been an attraction for social gathering and creating memories. However, this year people are asked to get what they need and avoid the tradition of hanging out in the ‘Burg, according to Colin Lamb, the manager of the Farmers Market.

Lamb said there are going to be fewer vendors this year in order to maintain safety precautions. With safety being a number one priority, booths will be spaced out and there will be additional washing stations for people to use, according to Lamb. 

Lamb is a seasoned veteran running the Farmers Market as not only the manager for three years but also as a janitor. Lamb said in past years safety has always been a priority and still is, but it’s not stopping him from trying to make the market happen. 

In years past, the Farmers Market didn’t have to limit vendors. Lamb has asked crafters not to attend this year to focus on farmers selling crops. Lamb is expecting to have around 20 vendors available at the start and during peak season, he is asking up to 30 vendors to attend. 

According to Lamb, the Farmers Market will be focused on plants the first month and transition into local produce later in the season. A highlight, according to Lamb, is that The Ellensburg Distillery switched from making gin to making hand sanitizer. 

Lamb said it’s important for people to get a taste of local food and take the opportunity to explore different flavors, shapes and sizes of produce. Lamb said the Farmers Market is beneficial to support local farmers and provide them the opportunity to maintain their farms.  

This year the market had planned to have a live band playing, but to encourage people to practice social distancing and not gather downtown, the plan has been postponed till next year, according to Lamb. The market will still be a fun place to be and will “take everything in strides,” according to Lamb.

The Ellensburg Farmers Market is asking that 9-10 a.m. is left for the elderly and those at high risk and for shoppers to leave families at homes.

Brennan Allen, a senior majoring in geography, has enjoyed going to the Farmers Market with his friends for years. Allen said the Farmers Market is one of the best places to hang out with friends, especially when there is nothing to do. 

Allen said his favorite part of the Farmers Market was the free samples, walking around and getting to see things he normally would not find in a grocery store. Allen enjoys being able to support local small businesses as well. With classes online, Allen thought this would have been the prime opportunity to get out and enjoy the town. 

“I’d love to be able to come back next year but I am graduating, and it is just going to be the fun memory that I will always remember,” Allen said. 

Vivianne Lopez, a senior business administration major with a specialization in human resources, enjoys supporting the Farmers Market and likes the opportunity to see what fresh produce is being sold.

“My favorite part about the Farmers Market is the fresh artisan bread. I’ll never forget it,” Lopez said. 

Lopez said she will miss being able to go to the market with friends. She said it was a great opportunity to get out and explore something new. However, Lopez does not plan on attending this year with the market being far from western Washington.