BOZEMAN — While there are some of the same sounds and delicious smells in the air, the Gallatin Valley Farmers’ Market has made some adjustments because of COVID-19.
“We just want to make sure that our vendors, our customers and everybody is comfortable, safe, excited to come and not nervous,” said Sarah Friedrich, assistant manager at the Gallatin Valley Farmers' Market.
It’s a new experience for foodies in Bozeman: a market in the age of social distancing.
“So we’ve spread our vendors out, we’ve asked people to not handle products as much unless you’re buying,” said Friedrich.
Vendors are to wear masks or face coverings, and while it’s highly encouraged, masks are optional for shoppers.
Apart from the social distance reminders and hand sanitizer stations, there are roughly half as many vendors as a normal year.
“So the stuff is the same, just less of it. It’s very nice, very comfortable, very neighborly thing to have,” said Steve Barrett who was shopping at the market.
Linda Taranto is one of the owners of D&D West Greenhouses in Livingston. She says the protocols slow businesses down but understands why they’re in place.
“The protocols we have to follow makes it a little harder for us. Waiting on people, we can’t wait on people quite as fast and as many as we would like to,” said Taranto.
Crowds are noticeably smaller, but there’s a general sense that people are just excited to be out.
“This is really the first event that we’ve been able to come back together and say hi and just support one another as a community again,” said Friedrich.