The 15th year of the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Market is going to have a much different look when the season begins a month from today on Saturday, June 6.

The Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance announced in a press release this morning that the first two markets, on June 6 and June 20, will be drive-thru markets. That means that shoppers will be able to buy online and then visit the market during its usual Saturday 7:30 a.m. to noon hours to pick up their items. According to the release, the change is to "comply with public health guidelines for farmers markets."

Here's how it will work. For the first market on June 6, you'll be able to visit the Cedar Rapids Area Shop Where I Live website HERE from Monday, May 25 through Thursday, June 4 at 6 p.m. to purchase items from about 30 different vendors. Everything from farm products, produce, prepared food, baked goods, and of course, produce will be available. You'll soon be able to see the vendor list for the June 6 market HERE. Vendors for the June 20 market will be announced at a later date.

When you complete and pay your order online, you'll receive an order number. You'll need to write that number on a sheet of paper and place it in your windshield when you go to the market the morning of Saturday, June 6. Everyone will enter the market in the same location, and then pull over into specific areas for individual vendors to receive the items you've purchased. Items will be placed in the trunk or backseat of your vehicle. You should not exit your vehicle.

*Please note: At this time, public health guidelines only allow farm products and food to be sold at farmers markets. As a result, artisan crafts and gifts will not be available for pre-order and pick up at the market. However, you can still support those businesses HERE. Non-food vendors can sell their products on the site and arrange their own pick-up or delivery.

Decisions on how the Cedar Rapids Downtown Farmers Markets for July 4, July 18, August 1, August 15, September 5, and September 19 will be handled will be announced at a later date. Ellie Evans, Events Planner for the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance says,

The health and safety of our attendees, vendors, staff and volunteers is our top priority. During this unprecedented time, drive-thru markets offer a safe option for an event that the community has enjoyed for 15 years.