Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers’ Markets Staying Drive-Through Only
When social distancing became a thing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, it was decided that the first two Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers' Markets would become drive-through only. Patrons could order ahead and pick up their items at the regularly scheduled times between 7:30 a.m. to noon.
Any hope of returning to normalcy after that was just dashed by a press release from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance who said the events will remain drive-through only for the entire season. Further, the annual "Market After Dark" event which last year reportedly brought 50,000 people to downtown Cedar Rapids, has been canceled entirely. It will NOT take place on Saturday, August 22 as scheduled.
This Saturday, June 20 is a drive-through market from 7:30 to noon. The remaining market dates on July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15, September 5, and September 19 will continue to be drive-through, but with a change. They will be open from 8 to 11 a.m.
Prior to the drive-through markets, attendees place orders online on the Cedar Rapids Area "Shop Where I Live" website. Online orders for each market open the day of the prior market and end the Thursday before the market at 6 p.m. For example, orders for the July 4 market will open on Saturday, June 20, and end Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m. and so on.
All types of vendors are now allowed, so starting July 4, attendees can expect to see artisan products and crafts, in addition to farm products and food products. The drive-through market allows for a smaller number of vendors than a traditional Downtown
While guidelines to keep groups to 10 or fewer people in a public gathering were relaxed, the proper social distancing of 6 feet apart was still expected to be maintained. The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance determined they could still not safely adhere to this requirement.
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