With restrictions settled, Buffalo Grove Farmers Market set to open June 14
Buffalo Grove's farmers market will open June 14 as planned, but it will have a different look and feel due to restrictions stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guidelines developed by the village's Farmers Market Committee include requiring face coverings, social distancing between vendors and patrons, making hand sanitizer available for patrons and vendors, and avoiding hand-to-hand contact between vendors and shoppers.
Shoppers instead will be encouraged to point to items, which vendors will handle. and cashless sales will be promoted.
Deputy Village Manager Christopher Stilling said 20 vendors have applied to take part in this year's market, which traditionally runs Sundays from mid-June until mid-October, at Mike Rylko Park, 951 McHenry Road.
Other restrictions include a ban on food sampling or consumption on the premises, no congregating or sitting, and no entertainment during the event.
Paulette Greenberg, co-chairwoman of the Farmers Market Committee, said she visited recently opened markets in Palatine and Evanston to see how they are operating under current conditions. She said she also participated in webinars sponsored by the Illinois Farmers Market Association and the University of Illinois.
"All shoppers wore masks and were conscious of keeping six feet or more away from each other," she said. "At both markets, people were very polite and did not complain when waiting in line for vendor assistance."
The markets had barriers between customers and the products, she added. In some cases, the barrier was a stretch of rope in front of the tables.
Village Trustee Lester Ottenheimer III, who serves as village board liaison to the committee with Trustee Gregory Pike, said the panel has put a lot of effort and research into their plan for opening.
"I certainly think that we have done everything we possibly can to maintain safety," he said.
Village Manager Dane Bragg said the village has a supply of 1,200 limited-use fabric-based face coverings on hand for people who show up without a mask.