Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market returning this summer with in-person season

photo provided by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance; illustration by Jordan Sellergren/Little Village

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market is returning this summer for its 16th season with an in-person market featuring nearly 100 local vendors selling fresh produce, cinnamon rolls, honey, flowers and other goods.

Like many in-person events last year, the downtown farmers market had to adjust its operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 season featured only drive-through markets.

There will be eight market Saturdays this year, starting with Saturday, June 19. The other dates are July 3, July 17, Aug. 7, Aug. 21, Sept. 4, Sept. 18 and Oct. 2. As of now, all of the Saturday markets are expected to be in-person.

All markets will run from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Individuals can find a map of vendors online for each day, as well as what vendors are present and what items are being sold.

The last market of the season on Oct. 2 will be an autumn-focused market, according to a news release from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. There will be apples, cider, gourds, pumpkins and other fall produce.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, the market will have social distancing guidelines in place, in addition to other health and safety modifications for guests and vendors.

Both vendors and attendees are encouraged to wear masks. Vendors are also encouraged to have hand sanitizer at their booths, and attendees are asked to follow a one-way pedestrian traffic flow.

There will also be limited food options at the start of the market season, with the option to add more as the market season continues.

“At the beginning of the season, farmers market patrons will see around 100 vendors spaced out and using only one side of the street,” said Ellie Evans, the Economic Alliance’s events planner. “This is all just a starting point, and we will continuously evaluate protocols and programming throughout the season in response to the fluctuating COVID-19 virus infections levels and vaccination rates. We hope to gradually increase vendors throughout the season as well as utilize both sides of the street.”

In an effort to increase vaccination rates, Linn County Public Health will host two pop-up vaccination clinics at the market. The first will be on Saturday, June 19, and the second will be on Saturday, July 17.

Individuals will be able to choose between the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine will be offered at the July vaccination clinic.

Those interested in getting vaccinated are encouraged to bring their health insurance or Medicare card, as well as a photo ID, so clinic can fill out paperwork related to the vaccination process, but no one is required to bring these documents to be vaccinated.