22 Sep 2020
The Charleston Farmers Market is finally coming back home. It’s no secret COVID has wreaked havoc with just about everything. People are Zooming left and right. Large scale gatherings are out. Whole segments of the economy simply shut down, or practically so (cruise ships, airlines, hotels). Sporting events – at least those that are taking place - are being reimagined and reconfigured. Restaurants are adding outdoor space wherever possible and spacing out diners, or just relying on takeout and delivery. COVID has caused people to get creative in making a living and keeping things moving forward. It’s the power of the pivot! Movie theaters have been replaced by streaming, of course. Bigger yet, they’re being replaced by drive-in movie theaters for folks itching to get out of the house. Check out this blog for how drive-in theaters have popped up around the Lowcountry. Normally, area farmers markets would have been fully cranked up and running all summer long. They fall in a curious segment - although they sell food (essential goods in the midst of a pandemic), they also veer into the entertainment and public gathering arena.
Charleston Farmers Market Meets COVID
This is certainly the case with the Charleston Farmers Market, voted one of the top ten farmers markets in the country. It’s also won the accolades “Best Outdoor Event” and “Best Attraction” in recent years. Situated in Marion Square downtown Charleston, it traditionally operates on Saturday mornings and early afternoons most of the year (roughly April through the holiday season). Yes, it sells essentials like vegetables and fresh food products from area farms. But it’s also become a huge place to gather, shop for artisan crafts and gifts, grab a bite to eat or something refreshing to drink, people watch and hang out with friends. Well, COVID threw a wrench into that. Farmers markets had to pivot. They became stripped-down versions of their former selves. Many reopened as essentials only markets - vastly scaled down in the number of vendors, and with all forms of social distancing and safety measures in place. The only vendors allowed were basically area farmers or growers selling food. Mount Pleasant was the first to do this, rechristening itself as the Mount Pleasant Essential Farm Goods Market. This was also the case with Charleston Farmers Market. Organizers moved its location from Marion Square to the VIP parking lot of The Joe, the baseball park named after former mayor Joe Riley. They also switched the day from Saturday mornings to Wednesday afternoons. Basically the market consisted of four farmers from Johns Island selling their fresh produce and farm goods.
It’s Finally Back in Marion Square
Well, this coming Saturday, September 26th, Charleston Farmers Market is finally coming back home to Marion Square. They are still limiting vendors - no artisans or prepared food yet - but they’re opening it back up to all farmers and growers. They will continue to maintain safe social distancing practices. They’ll have a one-way flow, and trucks will pull in to provide barriers between vendors. Or course you are encouraged to keep six feet apart from others and wear a mask. Read more about it in the Post and Courier and the Charleston City Paper. So check out the Charleston Farmers Market, finally back home where it belongs in Marion Square. And when you’d like to book one of the best SC vacation rentals, be sure to give EP a call. All best, Lowcountry Lisa your Isle of Palms vacation blogger