The Westerville Saturday Farmers Market kicked off its third year, May 23, but patrons should note the location has changed.
The market will take place from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Oct. 10 behind Westerville City Hall, 21 S. State St.
Lynn Aventino, executive director of Uptown Westerville Inc., the organization that presents the market, said live music and children's activities have been suspended because of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
She said the market's location change is the result of Otterbein University closing its buildings to the public to keep them sanitized for when students return in the fall.
Visitors to the market should enter from West College Avenue, organizers said.
Aventino said new vendors include Midway Kettle Corn and Concessions of Hebron with fresh-popped kettle corn and lemonade shake ups; Bug Run Farm from Columbus, offering heirloom vegetables, herbs and flowers; and Dahlias for Pelotonia from Columbus with all sales proceeds donated to Pelotonia, the annual cycling event that raise funds to battle cancer.
Kurt Hahn said he's new to Westerville's market but he has been selling dahlias for a few years.
"This will be the fourth year of holding a dahlia plant sale with all of the proceeds being donated to Pelotonia," he said. "Raising dahlias is a hobby, and riding in Pelotonia has become a passion."
This year, Pelotonia officials canceled the traditional ride in August because of the pandemic and the organizations efforts will take a more individualized and virtual approach.
As a local resident and Otterbein alumni, Hahn said, it was just natural to reach out to Westerville market leaders and ask if there was space available.
"I am looking forward to my first weekend at the market and hope we have a good turnout," he said.
Aventino said returning favorites to the market are Covey Rise Farms LLC from Radnor, selling chicken, lamb, turkeys, pork, eggs and honey; Tier Three Heritage Products from Centerburg with boutique pork and grain-fed beef; Rhoads Garden Center Inc. from Circleville with vegetables and fruits; Knife & Fork Farms from Johnstown with vegetables and fruits; Crepe Expectations LLC from Dublin with dessert crepes; Tulip Cafe from Dublin with Turkish baked goods; That Mushroom Guy LLC from Columbus with specialty mushrooms; and Drift Hills Farms from Jeromesville with produce.
A list of vendors and more about the market can be found online at uptownwestervilleinc.com/farmersmarket.html or on social media.
Aventino said Yoga on the Green will resume in June with instructor Sarah Erin Baker.
Additionally, she said, the market will host the Finest Edge, a mobile knife sharpening and cutlery sales company, and Compost Exchange, who will provide a weekly service to market shoppers to recycle food waste.
The market accepts Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and Women, Infants and Children benefits and also offers Produce Perks benefits, Aventino said.
She said the market will be adhering to various safety measures suggested from Franklin County Public Health, including providing a supply of hand sanitizer at the welcome table so visitors can sanitize their hands as they enter the market.
Aventino said sanitizer also would be available at vendor tables throughout the farmers market.
She said the weekly event isn't meant for social gathering, but visitors should take their time to select food and exit the market grounds.
She said social distancing of six feet should be maintained and there will be one exit and one entrance.
In line with pandameic guidelines, Aventino said, visitors should not bring pets to the market.
Masks are also encouraged.
"If you are not comfortable with the current COVID-19 guidelines but still want to shop the market, we have a list of vendors who accept preorders on our website," Aventino said.
"Preordering is a way to quickly pop in and leave the market with less exposure to the public."
She said she hopes visitors will enjoy the market as much as possible during this time.
"If we all do our part to minimize risk we will be able to get back to our usual operation sooner," Aventino said.
The market is sponsored by Nationwide Children's Hospital and Mount Carmel Health System.