Weaver Farmers Market ends successful season in spite of pandemic

Several health and safety measures were put in place to pull it off

By Mike Rego
Posted 9/25/20

EAST PROVIDENCE — The seventh season of the Weaver Library Farmers Market came to a close last Thursday, Sept. 24, under near perfect conditions for an early fall evening, though with the …

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Weaver Farmers Market ends successful season in spite of pandemic

Several health and safety measures were put in place to pull it off

Posted

EAST PROVIDENCE — The seventh season of the Weaver Library Farmers Market came to a close last Thursday, Sept. 24, under near perfect conditions for an early fall evening, though with the constant reminder of the COVID-19 pandemic still prevalent.

The hundred or so people in attendance at any point and time over the three-month, three-hours per week operation wore masks and were spread apart at reasonable distances as they perused the offerings of local farmers and other small businesses.

The market started a few weeks later into the summer this year and concluded a few weeks after its usual early September date in order to meet the guidelines set forth by the state in response to the coronavirus.

The team of acting director of libraries and market coordinator Joyce May along with Lisa Perry, the system’s teen librarian, and Deb Tirrell, who serves as cataloguer and social media operative, needed to make some adjustments to meet the COVID-19 health and safety mandates like cordoning off the surrounds of the market, making sure everyone who entered the area had a mask and marking off six-foot distances between patrons. Mrs. May said, thankfully, there was only one incident all season of a patron refusing to wear a mask.

“The challenges, really, have been keeping down the crowds and keeping them physically distanced,” Mrs. May said.

Per the state’s large gathering quota, no more than 100 people were allowed inside the market at any given time it was open. Mrs. May said the market’s largest single day attendance was close to 400 people. It’s smallest, with looming potential of inclement weather, was just about 100. She estimated for the season the market averaged about 300 attendees per week.

“The community has been really grateful to have something to do on a Thursday afternoon,” Mrs. May continued, as the city-based Kleyla Family Band performed in the background last week. The entertainers and visitors, as they did all summer, followed the restriction of 14-feet separation and the staging area was located outside the market perimeter.

She added, “What we found was that the people have been so grateful to have something to do outdoors. Besides the food, besides the entertainment, they can come outside and feel they’re doing something safe.”

On another positive note, Mrs. May said the some dozen vendors who have attended the market weekly, including Digger’s Catch Seafood Market on Broadway in city, have reported doing better this year than they have any other previous.

In the end, despite the impediments, this season’s Weaver Farmers Market will be once again be looked back upon fondly.

“It’s been more challenging in that we had to rope off the market every week, we had to do an actual response plan, we had the mask conversation with some people, we had some extra expense for more signage. And I’m very glad we had the extra signage because two weeks ago the (R.I. Department of Health) COVID-19 task force came and said we were doing a good job,” said Mrs. May.

The library had postcards printed for patrons with COVID-19 regulations and offered masks free to those who didn’t have one or forgot theirs.

“Overall it still feels like a farmers market, and I’m so pleased the vendors are doing well. What we found and what they found is that people do want to support local businesses,” Mrs. May added. “It’s tiring after 12 weeks, but we’re going to miss it.”


the market is fabulous very sad it’s ending


cordoning off the surrounds, making sure everyone has a mask, marking off social distances

only one incident of refusing to wear mask


no exception policy inside the library


lisa perry teen librarian

deb tirrell, cataloguer and social media

this year we need a team to do this


the challenges, keeping down the crowds and keeping them physically distanced


we’re going to miss it

the community has been really grateful to have something to do on a Thursday afternoon

band, restriction have to be 14 feet, located outside the market


What we found the people have been so grateful to have something to do outdoors. Besides the food, besides the entertainment, they can come outside and feel they’re doing something safe.

It’s tiring after 12 weeks, but we’re going to miss it.


Diggers

done better this year than they have any other year before

our best day close to 400 people

worst day, with looming inclement weather, just 100

averaging 300 attendees per week


it’s been more challenging in that we had to rope off the market every week, we had to do an actual response plan, we had the mask conversation with some people, we had some extra expense for more signage. And I’m very glad we had the extra signage because two weeks ago (R.I. Department of Health) COVID-19 task force came and said we were doing a good job.

postcards with regulations, offered masks free to those who didn’t have one or forgot theirs.


but overall it still feels like a farmers market, and I’m so pleased the vendors are doing well. What we found and what they found is that people do want to support local businesses.

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Mike Rego

Mike Rego has worked at East Bay Newspapers since 2001, helping the company launch The Westport Shorelines. He soon after became a Sports Editor, spending the next 10-plus years in that role before taking over as editor of The East Providence Post in February of 2012. To contact Mike about The Post or to submit information, suggest story ideas or photo opportunities, etc. in East Providence, email mrego@eastbaymediagroup.com.