Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market Announces Drive-Thru Markets for Remaining Season Dates, Cancels Market After Dark

Jun 16, 2020

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance today announced that all remaining dates of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market presented by Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust will be drive-thru markets. Additionally, the organization has canceled Market After Dark 2020, originally scheduled to take place Saturday, August 22. The announcement follows a successful first drive-thru Downtown Farmers Market on June 6 that saw 430 cars through the venue and a total of 1,400 items purchased from market vendors.

The remaining 2020 Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market dates are June 20, July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15, September 5 and September 19. The June 20 market will run from 7:30 a.m. to noon, then beginning with the July 4 market, the market will run from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. for the remaining season dates. The change in event time is due to less attendees than a traditional Downtown Farmers Market and the ability for attendees to quickly and efficiently move through the venue.

Current public health guidelines allow for public gatherings of over 10 people, like farmers markets, to take place if the organizer can ensure at least six feet of physical distance between each group or individual attending alone. Event organizers feel that hosting drive-thru morning markets and canceling Market After Dark is the best decision for the health and safety of all involved, while complying with public health guidelines.

“A typical Downtown Farmers Market sees about 14,000 attendees and Market After Dark saw 50,000 people last year,” said Ellie Evans, Events Planner, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance. “Ensuring social distancing with large-scale community events like a traditional Downtown Farmers Market and Market After Dark would be near impossible. Our top priority is the health and safety of attendees, volunteers and vendors, and our decision reflects that.”

Prior to the drive-thru markets, attendees place orders online on the local e-commerce platform, Cedar Rapids Area Shop Where I Live at www.cedarrapids.shopwhereilive.com. Online orders for each market open the day of the prior market and end the Thursday before the market at 6 p.m. For example, orders for the July 4 market will open on Saturday, June 20 and end Thursday, July 2 at 6 p.m. Attendees then pick up items from vendors on market Saturdays. No purchases will be made on-site.

Guidelines for farmers markets have expanded to allow all types of market vendors, including artisan and crafts. Attendees can expect to see these products, in addition to farm products and food products, starting with the July 4 market.

The drive-thru market allows for a smaller number of vendors than a traditional Downtown Farmers Market, but the public can support vendors not present at the drive-thru markets all season long by shopping from Virtual Vendors on www.cedarrapids.shopwhereilive.com/farmersmarket. All approved market vendors have the opportunity to sell products on the platform and can facilitate their own delivery and pick up options.

Information on how to place an online order, vendor lists, venue map and how to drive through the market can be found www.CRDowntownMarket.com. Follow the market on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/CRDowntownMarket.

The Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market is produced by the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance and presented by Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust.

Thank you to the Downtown Farmers Market Media Sponsors: Z102.9, KCRG-TV9,iHeart Media/WMT, The Gazette,ImOn Communications,Iowa News Now and Mediacom.

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