Gallatin County Farmer’s Market

The Gallatin County Farmer’s Market holds its first market of summer 2020 in this photo.

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Both the Bozeman Farmers Market and the Gallatin Valley Farmers Market have seen an influx of new vendors as the prospective markets prepare for their summer seasons.

Last year, COVID-19 restrictions forced both markets to pare down the number of vendors available. This year, as the markets near their normal sizes, finding new vendors wasn’t a challenge.

“We have more new vendors that we ever have before,” said Sarah Friedrich, manager of the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market. “They’re so eager and ready to start selling and being in a community space again.”

Salal Huber-McGee, director of the Bozeman Farmers Market, hypothesized many people had more time to pursue hobbies or learn new skills during the pandemic this past year. That, coupled with people moving to Bozeman, has resulted in a lot of new faces at the market, Huber-McGee said.

Both markets are still planning to have fewer vendors than usual in a measured return to normalcy despite more people wanting to sell at the markets.

Last year, both farmers markets reduced the number of vendors, implemented social distancing and curbed activities like live music in an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

“We are taking small steps,” Friedrich said. ‘We’re not going to be at full capacity, but we’ll have more vendors than we did last year.”

The Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market hosted only about 50 vendors per market in 2020. This year, Friedrich is aiming to double that number.

Still, that’s about half of what the fairgrounds can hold — the farmers market can have about 200 vendors under normal circumstances, Friedrich said.

The Bozeman Farmers Market is planning to have more vendors than last year — while not quite reaching full capacity.

Normally, the market would have about 100 vendors and this year its aiming for about 90. Last year, the Bozeman market was down to about 60 vendors per market.

The Bozeman Farmers Market will continue in Lindley Park. It moved from Bogert Park to Lindley in 2019 after the Bogert Park Pavilion roof collapsed due to heavy snow.

Huber-McGee said the market will continue in the park for its third year.

“This year we decided to stay in Lindley Park because it was so lovely last year,” Huber-McGee said. “It’s a bit bigger to space everyone out and feel less confined under the pavilion.”

Having the bigger outdoor space will be important if the market has to make any quick adjustments depending on the pandemic, she said.

Huber-McGee said there will still be hand-sanitizing stations across the market and she asks that market-goers continue to be respectful of others’ space.

“The first market will be a good introduction for people to get out in the community,” she said. “We can practice getting to know each other again.”

The Gallatin Valley Farmers Market is not requiring masks but encourages those who have not yet been vaccinated to continue wearing masks, Friedrich said, following recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

This summer marks the 50th anniversary for Gallatin Valley Farmers Market. The market was Bozeman’s first, starting in 1971. It’s run by Career Transitions, Inc., a local nonprofit.

The market was first held at Bogert Park but was moved to the fairgrounds in 2002. Vendors who participate come from around the valley.

The Gallatin Valley Farmers Market will begin on from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and runs through September at the Gallatin Valley Fairgrounds.

The Bozeman Farmers Market will run from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. beginning Tuesday until Sept. 7 in Lindley Park.

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Juliana Sukut can be reached at 582-2630 or jsukut@dailychronicle.com

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