Marco Island Farmers' Market to require masks, food-to-go, reduce vendors amid COVID-19

A woman cuts mangoes at Marco Island Farmers' Market.

The next season of the Marco Island Farmers' Market will be different from last year as the city adopts new rules to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

The city will require attendants to wear face masks, order food-to-go and reduce the amount of vendors to between 45 and 50, said Samantha Malloy, manager of the city's Parks and Recreation Department.

"We usually have 100 booths with 80 vendors," she said Thursday.

Other rules include installing booths six feet apart from each other, requiring vendors to have hand sanitizer for attendants and the elimination of sitting areas where people would eat at the market, Malloy said.

Malloy said the city's website will show in the upcoming months the contact information of the vendors so people can order in advance and pick-up their food.

"We are asking people to purchase their supplies and take it to-go," she said.

The venue of the market will continue to be Veterans' Community Park but it will change to Mackle Park once the construction of new facilities begins at Veterans', Malloy said.

The installation of the construction fence is scheduled to begin early next year, based on a city document.

The market usually takes place every Wednesday beginning in November and runs through April. Last year ended early due to the pandemic.

Malloy will speak on these changes at the City Council meeting Sept. 9.

The first market of this season will be from 7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Nov. 18 at Veterans' Community Park, according to the city's website. The deadline for vendors to apply is Sept. 23.

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