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Downtown SLO Farmers' Market makes a comeback with a smaller footprint, safety precautions

The Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers' Market
Posted at 1:06 AM, May 07, 2021

For the first time in over a year, the Downtown San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market reopened, albeit with a smaller footprint and some safety precautions.

The Market is now limited to two blocks instead of five, and runs down Higuera Street from Osos to Chorro Street.

People can partake in the beloved tradition on Thursdays from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. Organizers and vendors start setting up and clearing the street of cars around 5 p.m.

The vendors are spaced at least six feet apart and have little labels on the curb for where they should go.

Market organizers wearing vests helped direct people during the setup. They also provided maps, extra masks and mask enforcement during the Market.

Everyone is expected to wear masks, even if they are fully vaccinated, as it is a large crowd.

People are not allowed to eat at the Market.

Throughout the pandemic, Farmers’ Markets were seen as essential and were allowed to run, however, according to the CEO of Downtown SLO, Bettina Swigger, the one in Downtown San Luis Obispo operated more like a street fair.

Swigger said now that the county moved into a less restrictive tier and more people are vaccinated, they felt comfortable holding the Market and keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Vendors like Allen Hayashi, the owner of Hayashi Produce Company, said, “We’ve been coming here for probably over thirty five years, since it started. And we developed a really good relationship with a lot of people, I mean it’s more like family than it is customers.”

Other vendors were equally excited, but surprised by the crowds, which consisted of several hundred people.

Ignacio Sanchez, owner of Island Farms, said, “We weren’t prepared for this and it’s really cool. You know it takes us a year to grow this product so for me it’s like woah.”

Christiana Tran, a market attendee, told us she was excited but, “Its very crowding, there’s no social distancing. Trying to find spaces away from people, while still being able to view the booths.”

Sherri Garrison said, “It feels great to be out of the house and see everyone out here being safe, everyone has masks on. So it’s great to be in an environment where we can get out, get some fresh air and feel safe.”

Remington Wolf showed our team what he bought, “I love the farmer’s market. I am so excited that it’s finally back. As you can see I bought some sourdough that I am going to bring home to my family for Mother’s Day. It’s been a long time coming.”