HELENA — The Capitol Square Farmers Market has changed to a “hybrid market” with a drive-thru option after closing early last week to comply with local health directives.
The current COVID-19 directive by Lewis and Clark Public Health limits events to a total of 250 people. The Capitol Square Farmers reached 250 customers after less than 2 hours last week.
In order to accommodate that, the Capitol Square Farmers Market will dedicate the first hour, beginning at 2:30 p.m., for seniors and at risk population shoppers.
The market will then be open for traditional pedestrians until 5:30 p.m. with 75 people allowed in each hour. From there they’ll swap to a drive-thru market that will allow for people to drive through and purchase goods without leaving their car.
“In talking with some of the vendors and the health department they suggested that other markets in the country were trying this, so we thought we’d take a look at this and give it a try,” said General Services Division Administrator Steve Baiamonte. “It’ll be a little bit of a challenge and different for everybody, but we’re hoping this gives everyone the opportunity to still get in and get the product they want from the vendors.”
Every customer and vendor attending the market will continue to have to wear a mask and practice social distancing.
Baiamonte said he wants to continue to see a market of Montana made and grown goods on the grounds of the Capitol.
“We want to do everything we can to make sure it’s successful, but still make sure it runs within the parameters of the mandates we have,” said Baiamonte.