The Winthrop Market will be back this summer, albeit starting a bit later than usual and with coronavirus considerations in place for vendors and customers.
The market, which takes place on Sundays at Mack Lloyd Park near the Winthrop Barn, features a variety of arts, crafts, food and collectibles. It usually runs from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
At last week’s Winthrop Town Council meeting, organizer Jim Neupert explained that the market plans to open as early as this weekend with guidelines in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The council approved the market’s application for a special event permit.
Customers will be required to wash or sanitize their hands before entering the market, wear face protection and gloves, maintain a distance of 6 feet from other shoppers, avoid touching any products before purchasing them, allow vendors to bag items once they are selected, and avoid consuming food on the market grounds.
Vendors will be required to wear masks and gloves, ensure that customers maintain 6-foot social distancing, post signs reminding customers to avoid touching products before purchasing them, use new bags for wrapping of all purchases, and regularly disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces.
Neupert told the council that “U-shaped” vendor booths that customers could enter will not be permitted. He said there will be no picnic tables nearby, to discourage food consumption. Gloves and masks will not be provided for customers, Neupert said.
Mayor Sally Ranzau affirmed that the public restrooms near the Winthrop Barn will be open and regularly cleaned and maintained by a town employee.
Neupert also told the council that after several years or managing the market, he is “easing out” of that role, and will be replaced by Willie Getz, who has managed the Methow Valley Farmers Market in Twisp.