Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market will kick off its 15th season with drive-through pick-up

The Morning Glory CSA food truck serves customers at the Cedar Rapids Farmers Market, Saturday, July 20, 2019. — Helaina Thompson/Little Village

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market will open in June as planned, but there will be a big change when it does. Both the June 6 and June 20 farmers markets will be drive-through markets.

Around 30 vendors will be selling produce, honey, baked goods and other farm products. Online ordering for the June 6 farmers market will be available from Monday, May 25 until Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. Orders will be placed on the Cedar Rapids Area Shop Where I Live website.

Orders will be ready for pick-up on market Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to noon. Attendees are asked to create a sign with their order number and display it in the windshield of their car.

Vendors will have designated pick-up zones for customers where purchased items will be placed in the trunk or backseat of the car. Attendees must remain in the car at all times and are expected to limit interactions with vendors. There will be no purchases made on-site.

A list of vendors for the June 6 market will be published online soon, and June 20 vendors will be announced in the coming weeks, according to a news release from the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance.

Vendors selling nonfood items, such as artisan gifts and crafts, are not able to participate in June’s drive-through markets due to current public health guidelines, which only allow the sale of farm products and food. These vendors have the option to sell their items through the Shop Where I Live website, but will have to provide their own delivery and pick-up options.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance will “continue to evaluate options and make decisions based on public health guidelines for the remainder of the 2020 market season,” according to the news release. The currently scheduled farmers market dates are June 6, June 20, July 4, July 18, Aug. 1, Aug. 15, Sept. 5 and Sept. 19. All markets are from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

NewBo City Market is also running its own farmers markets on Wednesdays from 5-7 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Local farmers are selling only “essential items,” including fruits and vegetables. The market is taking various steps to ensure social distancing is being practiced, including keeping at least 10 feet between vendors.

The Iowa City Farmers Market launched its online ordering this week, with the first drive-through market happening Saturday, May 9. The drive-through option will continue even after Iowa City’s farmers market reopens, which is currently scheduled for July 4.

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