A traditional summer favorite of Columbia County, the Clatskanie Farmers Market is reopening on Saturday, June 5 for summer 2021.

Farmers Market
The Clatskanie Farmers Market is at located at Copes Park, 11 Lillich Street in Clatskanie.
 

The first Farmers Market of the year is always an exciting time, according to board member Steve Cordero. But this year is especially exciting, Cordero said, because it marks the market’s return to normal.

“The market this year is probably going to look more like the market of two years ago that was pre-COVID,” Cordero explained.
 
The market is under the guidelines of the Oregon Farmers Market Association (OFMA), which released new guidelines stating that outdoor farmers markets did not need to require masking for vendors or visitors, as long as social distance and other hygiene protocols are maintained.
 
Last year’s market was significantly downsized, Cordero said, and the many features that make the Farmers Market the beloved summer fixture it is were missing.
 
The market had to cancel the usual live music due to COVID-19 concerns, and the first few weeks of the market were limited to only essential vendors—those vendors who only sold food products. Vendors who sold goods other than food were upset that they weren’t include in the market that year, Cordero told The Chief. The market moved to a larger space in Copes Park, so that they could maintain social distancing and welcome the market to all vendors.
 
“Justifiably, they were offended and felt like our arts were also an essential service. They felt the community was as much about food as it was the arts,” he said. “We want to be all inclusive, and we will make this safe for everyone, as safe as we can.”
 
This year, the Farmers Market board is looking forward to having live music again and being able to welcome all vendors.
 
“Last year’s market created an atmosphere that was anything but a community event,” Cordero said. “This year … we’re going to have a more familiar setting for people. We’re going to be able to see each other’s smiles. We’re also going to be able to have music, which is huge difference from last year.”
 
Starting on Saturday, the Farmers Market will run every Saturday through September from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will feature live music and vendors with goods ranging from baked goods, toffee, and homegrown produce to fine art, soaps, and knitwear.
 
As of press time, the market had 13 vendors registered for Saturday, which Cordero said is “a good sign that the community is waking up and ready to come back out.”
 
The weather forecast says Oregonians should expect rain over the weekend, but that won’t hinder the Farmers Market.
 
The market has rained out twice in its eight years, said Cordero, but vendors still persevered. “Rain or shine, we’re there,” he said.

And rain or shine, Cordero encourages the community to come out to the market.

“You learn so much about the community and so much about yourself,” he explained. “It’s just wholesome.”

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