(Editor's Note: A previous version of this story stated that dogs would not be allowed at the Helena Farmer's Market. That was incorrect and has since been changed.)
HELENA -- As Winter gives way to Spring, the Helena Farmer's Market will endure. Though when the market opens on May 2, it will look staunchly different than years prior.
"For the limited market, it's basically going to be just Food and Ag vendors, just to start out with. We can do cottage food, we can do plant starts, we can do produce -- anything like that," said Micah Eller, a board member for the Helena Farmer's Market and Chair of the market's COVID-19 committee. "No craft vendors at this time, because those aren't considered essential."
Eller said vendors, like patrons, will be practicing social distancing by plotting out the stands six feet apart.
"It's not going to necessarily be a social gathering this year. At first, the health department wanted to completely close it down," said Eller. "What we're trying to push is that it's an outdoor grocery store. It's access to local food and local starts and it's supporting local farmers in our area."
Along with social distancing and sanitizing guidelines for vendors and patrons, Eller also said the market will be have designated entrances and exits to keep a count of the number of people in the market, they are strongly suggesting patrons leave their dogs at home, and hope to have a designated hour for sensitive groups to grab their produce at the market with fewer people around.