Pandemic means reduced number of vendors for Dublin Market at Bridge Park

SARAH SOLE
ssole@thisweeknews.com
Organizers for the Dublin Market at Bridge Park said they expect about 25 vendors to participate this year. The market is open from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 26. Last year, about 100 vendors participated. The number was reduced to help attempt to maintain social-distancing standards during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Dublin Market at Bridge Park will return for a third season Saturday, June 20, albeit on a smaller scale to accommodate social-distancing standards during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The market will be held from 9 a.m. to noon Saturdays through Sept. 26 on Banker Drive and Longshore Loop, said Miranda Swaney, assistant vice president of marketing with Bridge Park developer Crawford Hoying.

Swaney said the market would feature 25 vendors this year. Last year, about 100 vendors participated, she said.

"Safety was our biggest priority," she said.

Vendors will sell produce, flowers, meat, retail items, baked goods and snacks, Swaney said.

One returning vendor is Brett Rhoads, who owns Rhoads Farm in Circleville. This will be Rhoads' third season selling such produce as leafy greens, sweet corn, squash, cucumbers, fruit and beans.

Rhoads said part of his reasoning for returning is economic. A fair amount of his income comes from farmers markets, he said. But another part is about filling a need. He said he has seen an uptick in local produce purchasing because of the pandemic.

This season, customers can expect to see more prepackaged items, Rhoads said.

"Our focus is going to be to get people in and out as quickly as possible," he said.

Health safeguards for the market will include spacing vendors 10 feet apart, Swaney said. Staff and vendors will wear masks, which are recommended but not required for patrons.

No reusable bags will be permitted at the market, Swaney said, and transactions will be done via credit card only. Vendors have to give patrons products to avoid patrons touching items. No on-site food preparation or sampling will be available.

Swaney said market staff members recommend only one person per family man each booth. No pets are allowed.

Sanitizer will be available at vendor booths, as well as at entry and exit points, she said.

ssole@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekSarah