When Lee Gann, the director of Downtown High Point Farmer’s market was asked what he wanted the people of High Point to know, he had one simple answer- “We’re still here.”
The farmers market downtown has been open for business since April 18th, two weeks earlier than originally planned. Opening their doors earlier in the season helped Mr. Gann and his team to quickly get a feel for how it would be operating this year’s farmers market downtown in the midst of a pandemic.
The downtown market has taken many steps to stay as healthy as possible. Lines have been drawn on the pavement in chalk to mark 6-feet and vendors have adapted new routines for keeping safe. Masks are even being given away for free!
“The first week we opened up, we didn’t really know what to expect,” said Mr. Gann. “Mostly everyone is wearing masks, and everyone has done a good job at staying apart.”
Due to COVID-19, the downtown market hasn’t been able to do some of the things they had typically hoped. “We've not been able to do anything with our kids,” Mr. Gann says. “We typically have a kids corner and a bunch of games for them, but right now we haven't been able to have any of that set up for them.”
Things such as weekly cooking demos and their typical monthly cook-offs have also been done away with this season.
Business is still booming for the downtown market. This year, there’s typically 20-25 vendors in the stalls every Saturday, much better than the 15 or so Mr. Gann had anticipated. “Attendance wise, numbers started off slow but are now about average with last years- about 1200 every Saturday,” says Lee Gann.
“We have much more variety this year than we’ve ever had,” Mr. Gann states. New goods include home-made donuts and ice cream, recycled wine bottle windchimes, and so much more!
The downtown market will be open until the last Saturday in October, October 31st. This last Saturday is typically a big day for the market, with fun stuff to celebrate Halloween planned for the kids of the community. “We’re just hoping that everything gets better so we can keep it a special day,” says Mr. Gann in an excited tone.
The market is open each Saturday from 8 am to 1 pm, so don’t miss your chance to stop by and see what all the hype is about!
by Forward High Point intern JT Farabow