Tanana Valley Farmers Market to open this summer as an essential business

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) The Tanana Valley Farmers Market will open Saturday, May 16 as an essential business. The Market will continue to operate Wednesdays and Saturdays off College Road, with strict guidelines for vendors and customers to follow for sanitation and social distancing.

"This year we are going to have a socially-distant, walk through farmers market," General Manager of the Tanana Valley Farmers Market Brad St. Pierre said, "There is going to be an entrance and an exit through a gate and we are going to be controlling the numbers of how many people are going to be in the market at one time. We are encouraging the public to wear a mask and to send just one person from your household to shop." St. Pierre mentioned for what expect as a consumer.

The Farmers Market will be selling and displaying produce and crafts has they have in years past. Vendors will need to abide by specific rules in order to sell their goods.

"The Farmers Market has instituted very clear guidelines for sanitation, for protecting the vendors and the customers," St. Pierre said. "We are going to have hand washing and hand sanitation stations spread out throughout the market and at every stand there will be access to hand sanitizer. We are encouraging our vendors to practice proper hygiene with washing their hands between customers and having an ability to sell without getting too close."

The Market, who had over 100 vendors and saw over $1.6 Million in sales last year according to St. Pierre, has served as place for consumers to socialize, but that will be expectedly different this summer.

"The Market has been a social gathering point for years and this year it is going to be a really essential place to shop and to find locally produced food and we hope that with the support of our community that we have received in the past continues, those small business will survive and create the strong local food system that we are in desperate need of here in Alaska."

As consumers flood to supermarkets during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tanana Valley Farmers Market will provide a location for those who want to support local businesses.

The first 30 minutes the market is open each day will be reserved for the elderly and for those who have compromised immune systems.

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