As our national, state and community response to COVID-19 continues, your Delmar Farmers Market board actively monitors and meets regularly to discuss how updated and evolving federal, state and local policies will drive our 2021 season.  We continue to review updated medical data, reach out to other farmers market leaders, and pull the latest guidance and resources from official agencies.  At this time, we are more committed than ever to uphold our mission to support and connect our vendors with the community. As was the case last year, we must take a wide view of all stakeholders with everyone’s health and safety as our first priority.

As we open this spring with much optimism, our board of directors continues to adjust operations to accommodate patrons, vendors and volunteers alike in the safest and most responsible manner possible.  The market will continue to operate a bit differently while we maintain this commitment — the most pressing example of this is that facial coverings must still be worn when the market opens on May 1.  While the recently-updated CDC guidance (4/27/2021) authorizes more leniency in regards to wearing masks outdoors, outdoor farmers markets remain subject to NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets/NYS Department of Health regulations which still mandate facial coverings for shoppers and vendors. We will be pleased to update these guidelines when allowed!

On a positive note, the one-way foot traffic pattern in place during last our 2020 season is no longer required, so shoppers may resume their traditional routines for visiting their favorite vendors.

Below are the remaining COVID-19 operational protocols still in place at DFM:

  • All customers must wear facial coverings.  This is required for both admittance to and while shopping at the market.
  • Shoppers within the market will be actively managed to eliminate congregating and to promote social distancing, with at least six feet between customers required.
  • We reserve the right to limit the number of people in the market at one time in order to assure proper social distancing.
  • Food Safety at Farmers’ Markets Guidelines will be rigorously enforced, and all vendors must wear facial coverings and gloves.
  • Spacing between vendors will be extended as much as possible.  As such, your favorite vendors may be in a different place than traditionally located.  Please visit our DFM community tent if you need assistance.
  • Vendors must minimize the amount of food on display with customer access.
  • Customers will be prohibited from touching vendor products.  Please let the vendors serve you, and ask for assistance if needed.
  • The number of hand washing stations will be increased and hand sanitizer will be made available.
  • Market music will begin on opening day, but all other forms of entertainment will remain suspended, including local chef/cooking demonstrations and sampling.
  • All wooden picnic tables will be available with plastic coverings.  Only members of a single group can use each table at one time and people are asked to limit their time at a table to allow others to use them as well. Sanitizer will be available at each table for mandatory sanitary wipe down after each use.
  • There will be two hand-washing stations available for public and vendor use.
  • No public restrooms will be available.
  • No pets will be allowed.

Our market manager has reviewed our updated plans in detail with the Albany County Department of Health, and based on all the data and projections available, all parties still agree that keeping the market open to the public is in the best interest of our community and can be done safely if all guidelines are followed.  Our board of directors works diligently every Saturday to uphold these precautionary standards and appreciates your patience, understanding and assistance as we continue to do so.

Thank you!