Pine River Market Square, a local growers’ and crafters’ market, begins its 12th season in Pine River starting May 29 in a new location.

The Pine River Chamber Info Center grounds will host the weekly farmers’ market along the Paul Bunyan Trail parallel to Highway 371 on the corner of Barclay Avenue at the traffic light.  The market will run May 29-Sept. 25 from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. and feature a variety of vendors with local goods from fresh produce, to garden starter plants, to meat, baked goods, eggs, honey, crafts, and more.

Given the current challenges due to the pandemic, the market will look and feel a bit different. The annual plant sale operated by the Pine River Garden Club at the first market has been canceled this year.  There will, however, be starter plants and some perennial plants available from vendors and at the Community Booth.

Additional Minnesota Department of Health recommended procedures will be followed as farmers’ markets are allowed to proceed as planned. This allows greater access to local goods for residents and visitors alike.

New routines customers will need to add to their weekly Friday farmers’ market shopping include: entering from one location off the parking lot;  hand-washing upon entering the market; social distancing of 6 feet between customers; vendors in a single line along the trail with proper distancing; a limit of 10 shoppers in the market area at a time; suggested mask wearing though not required; and a single “exit” from the market when shopping is completed.  Vendors will be set up with an extra “spacing/exchange” table between customers and the goods so you’ll see your options from a slight distance rather than “up-close.” This is to minimize exposure of goods and aid shoppers in getting the “cleanest” goods possible.

Farmers’ markets are also restricted from any food sampling and on-site eating of any food goods this year.

Some tips for customers coming to the market are to use correct change as much as possible in purchasing goods (cash is always best, though some vendors do have credit card capability, and checks are welcome); limit shoppers to one per family rather than past practice of bringing the entire family and friends; save your tasting and eating of any goods for home; and bring your patience and good humor. The market is still a place of celebrating community and supporting local growers and crafters in providing you with the freshest goods possible.

Growers and crafters who are within 60 miles of Pine River and meet the market vendor guidelines are welcome for the up-coming season. Whether you are a seasoned vendor or considering becoming a market vendor, you can learn more about the market via the website at prmarketsquare.wordpress.com or by calling Market Manager Mim Brien at (218) 838-1943.

For further information, including vendor guidelines and application, visit the website at www.prmarketsquare.wordpress.com or call Brien at (218) 838-1943.

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