Opening day for the annual Lakewood Farmers Market is on June 19th, but it may look a little different this year due state mandated guidelines. Now located at Fort Steilacoom Park, the market will have both a drive-through and walk-through set-up, as well as some pre-order options through vendors.
City of Lakewood Parks and Recreation Coordinator Sally Martinez said she did a ton of research to put everything together in a way that was not only safe, but still offered the fresh produce, flowers, and other market vendors customers have come to love. “We have a reputation for being very adaptable, entrepreneurial thinkers,” she said.
The drive-through lane will be on the left, allowing drivers to stop into each vendor they wish to make a contact-free purchase from on the right, without ever getting out of their car. Vendors will serve from both sides of their booths, with staff processing payments and others loading vehicles. Once done, customers move on to the next, or exit the market through the left lane.
A food truck section will be available by continuing through the left lane for those that would like to take dinner home, or spread out using social distancing within the wide spaces of the park to enjoy a meal.
People can still park and come through a walk-through entrance where hand sanitizing and washing stations will be available. Buyers will line-up similarly to the supermarket, standing six feet apart. Maps will be handed out with vendor locations and park set-up details. There will also be a number of staff, volunteers, and signage to guide patrons throughout the market.
Martinez said she was able to learn from the many markets that have already made these pivots.
Preordering can be accomplished through several vendors offering that option, either directly through their individual website, Facebook page, or by phoning orders in. Once orders have been placed, market visitors put their name in the window of their car and simply drive up to the booth to complete the exchange.
“Once people do it, they will see that it’s pretty straightforward,” Martinez said. “It’s really about creating the right expectation at all of our future events, and educating people on how it works. I’m sure some revising may take place after the first market day, as we continue to perfect it.”
Find out more about the Lakewood Farmers Market, vendors, and food trucks here.