SARATOGA SPRINGS — The Saratoga Farmers’ Market will resume its outdoor market on Wednesday, May 5, at its traditional location in High Rock Park, while still operating at Wilton Mall, where it will move outdoors starting Saturday, May 1.
The Saturday market will be in the parking lots near the former Bon-Ton and Bow Tie Cinemas entrances to the mall, moving from the location it has used this past winter inside the mall. The market, which has had a number of different winter locations over the years, began holding its markets at the mall — with its ample parking — in the winter of 2019-2020.
The organizers said the Saturday markets, weekly from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., will feature around 65 local vendors selling fresh produce, dairy products, eggs, meats, flowers, baked goods, prepared foods, and other items. At Wednesday’s markets, weekly from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., 20 vendors will be providing a similar range of items.
Organizers said the decision to start the summer season in two locations was made to keep market vendors and customers safe while the COVID-19 pandemic still requires social distancing. They said the smaller Wednesday market fits comfortably at High Rock Park, but for the larger Saturday market, a more expansive footprint is still needed. A survey conducted among customers, which gathered over 700 responses, indicated an even split in their location preferences, they said.
In 2020, the market’s warm-weather location was in the mall parking lot, and High Rock Park wasn’t used at all — because of COVID-19 concerns, and because construction of the City Center’s new parking garage was taking place nearby. The parking garage has since been completed, and is available for customer use.
For 2021, the markets will continue to follow current COVID-19 safety guidelines for farmers’ markets, with socially distanced booths, numerous hand-washing and sanitizing opportunities, and customers and vendors required to follow mask requirements.
The Saturday market will continue to offer its online pre-ordering and curbside pickup service. Market staff will continue to assess market safety and update operational guidelines for farmers’ markets. The market board has not ruled out moving back to the downtown outdoor location if state COVID guidelines allow it, although the Wilton location is considered to be successful.
The Saratoga Farmers’ Market, now in its 43rd season, is a year-round producer-only market. From May through October, the market in good times hosts 80 vendors. The market provides customers with locally-made products from five counties: Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer, Washington, and Warren.