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Veggies at the Boulder Farmers Market. Photo courtesy of Colorado Proud

What You Need to Know About the 2020 Farmers’ Market Season

A guide to when Colorado’s markets are opening and what safety guidelines you must follow when shopping.

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Farmers’ market season is in full swing right now, and luckily, most Colorado markets are still scheduled to open this year. The open-air events will work a little differently in the COVID-19 era, though—you may have to wait a little longer to visit your favorite vendors and forgo the tasty samples—but you can still shop for fresh fruits and veggies from our incredible local farmers. Here is a rundown of upcoming markets and the precautions organizers are taking to keep everyone safe.

The South Pearl Street Farmers Market opened last weekend and will continue to welcome patrons through November 15, every Sunday, from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. New restrictions require you to wear a mask, maintain six feet of social distancing, and follow a clockwise browsing layout. Vendors will be spaced farther apart, and only two people are allowed at a booth at a time. There’s no seating, music, or kids’ activities this summer, and you can pre-order farmers’ market boxes to go for pick up on-site to minimize contact.

It’s good news and bad news (but mostly good news!) for Boulder County Farmers Market fans. To get the bad news out of the way, the Louisville Thursday Night Market is canceled this year and the Boulder Wednesday Night Market doesn’t yet have an opening date. That said, the Boulder Saturday Market will open on May 23; the Longmont Saturday Market on May 30; and the Union Station Saturday Market on June 13. Reservations and pre-ordering items with vendors is strongly recommended, and there are a few other restrictions, too. You must wear a mask, pay with a credit card, limit your party to two people, and follow a one-way traffic flow. Better yet: Order online for curbside pick up at Longmont Fairgrounds.

The year-round Four Seasons Farmers and Artisans Market in Wheat Ridge is up and running with a few precautions. It recommends you leave the kids at home, maintain six feet of distance from others, and wear masks and gloves. Or skip the exposure altogether and place an order for pick up or delivery. Market hours are Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesday through Friday, 12 to 4 p.m.

One of Boulter’s 5280 Urban Markets, the University Hills Market, kicks off on Saturday, May 23, 9 a.m. until 1 p.m., and goes through October 17. In June, shoppers can look forward to the Evergreen Market (Tuesdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., June 23 to September 29), Lone Tree Market (Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., June 27 to October 3), and Green Valley Market (Wednesdays, 5 to 8 p.m., July 1 to August 26). Guidelines to remember: If you touch it, you buy it, and please keep your visit brief.

The number of vendors at this year’s Golden Farmers Market will be reduced, but it will start on June 6 and run each Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., through October 3. The number of people allowed into the market at a time will be limited, and everyone must wear facial coverings.

The Saturday Colorado Fresh Markets in Cherry Creek starts on June 6, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., and will operate through November 14. The Wednesday market opens on June 17, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and goes through September 30. Or check out the online shop anytime to support local vendors.

The trio of Real Farmers Markets will all be selling this summer. Check out the Highland Market on Sundays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 31 to October 11; the Louisville Market on Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 23 to October 10; and the Erie Market on Thursdays, 5 to 8 p.m., May 21 to September 10. It may take a little longer to get through, as only 10 people are allowed in at a time (this could change depending on the latest recommendations for gatherings), and the number of vendors will be limited due to increased spacing between booths. Everyone inside must wear a mask, and no sampling or alcohol is allowed this year.

There are five local markets under the umbrella of the Metro Denver Farmers’ Market, and a couple of them are already running. Head to the now-open Southwest Plaza Market on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., through October 31 and the Highlands Ranch Market on Sundays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., through November 1. In June, the Lakewood Market (June 13 to September 26, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.), Reunion Market (June 14 to September 27; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), and Littleton Market (June 17 to September 30; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.) will be ready for shoppers as well. Customers are asked to wear facial coverings and maintain proper social distancing.

The Larimer County Farmers’ Market in Old Town Fort Collins is scheduled for every Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., May 23 to October 31. Like other markets, it asks that you wear a mask and gloves, shop efficiently, follow the signs, allow vendors to do all the handling of the goods, and take everything to go.

The quadruple threat of the Local Colorado markets kick off in June. Mark your calendars for: the Stanley Farmers Market in Aurora on Fridays, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting on June 5; the Southlands Farmers Market in Aurora on Saturdays,  8 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting June 6; the Parker Farmers Market on Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting June 7; and the Festival Park Farmers Market in Castle Rock on Sundays, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., starting June 14. Expect to see increased spacing between booths and other safety protocols.

The Stay Inside Guide to Denver

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