Credit: Chris Christian
Visitors to the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown maintain a safe social distance while purchasing items from a vendor Peanut Butter And More! on opening day. Caution tape and barricades as well as reminders on posted signage helped keep everyone apart, while together.
It was far from a typical opening day, but the start of the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market’s 15th season in Hellertown Sunday was a success, chairperson Angela Reese said.
The market had to make significant modifications to its layout, update vendor protocols and introduce things like social distancing guidelines for customers as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, but Reese and other volunteers who run the weekly event said everyone was adapting well to the changes and turnout was robust.
Customers were conscientious about maintaining a one-way flow of pedestrian traffic around the market, which features a few less vendors than in past years so there is adequate space for social distancing. It is still one of the larger weekly seasonal farmers markets in the area, with nearly 20 vendors on hand for opening day.
Other changes to this year’s market included the addition of hand sanitizer stations and a requirement that all vendors and customers wear face masks or face coverings, in accordance with a state health department mandate for retailers operating during the pandemic. Customers are not permitted inside vendor booths or allowed to handle food items prior to purchase to maintain sanitation, so orders are now placed from several feet outside the booths. Red lines on the grass served as visual reminders to stand back while contemplating what to purchase, and customers who waited in line stood six feet apart; something that has become the norm in most retail environments over the past month.
Aside from that, visitors to the market were met with a familiar array of delicous prepared food, baked goods, locally-grown produce, meat, eggs, cheese, soap, lemonade, smoothies, mead, coffee and other staple goods. For a full list of vendors as well as opportunities to pre-order purchases, visit the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market website.
The market is open Sundays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and is held on the field next to the Hellertown Area Library, which is located at 409 Constitution Ave., Hellertown.
The first hour of the weekly market is now reserved for shopping by seniors and individuals who may be at high risk should they develop COVID-19.
Dogs are no longer permitted at the market, and there is now a single entrance just to the north of the library building along Constitution Avenue. One exit funnels visitors out behind the building toward Rohn Road.
The market will be open every Sunday through late November, weather permitting, with some vendors present weekly and others scheduled to be there on a regular rotation.
Follow the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market on Facebook and Instagram for news and regular updates from this year’s vendors.
Saucon Source is proud to help support this year’s market and we encourage the community we serve to do the same.
Photos by Chris Christian
Mainly Mushrooms is a perennial vendor at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this year’s market is more spread out across the library field.
The market gave out disposable face masks to anyone who arrived without one. Pennsylvania is one of a number of states that require their use by retailers to help combat the spread of the novel coronavirus.
A man wears a face mask as he visits the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market in Hellertown.
The weather was nearly perfect for walking to the Saucon Valley Farmers Market on its opening day Sunday. Following some early morning showers, skies cleared to become partly sunny and temperatures rose well into the 70s. Pictured: Families walk to the market entrance along Constitution Avenue.
The only way entrance to this years market is located on Constitution Avenue next to the Hellertown Area Library. Both the entrance and exit were clearly marked with signage so visitors would understand the new traffic pattern; a pattern necessitated by social distancing requirements that are in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Most visitors to the market appeared to take the changes in stride; part of an acceptance of a “new normal” that has become commonplace since the pandemic began in March.
Locally-made favorites like pickled red beets and mustard in Mason jars were on sale on opening day of the 15th annual Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market.
High Point Kombucha was one of about 20 vendors selling locally-grown or produced food, beverages and other items at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market.
Even face masks couldn’t hide the smiles of vendors, customers and volunteers who were simply excited to once again be part of a beloved community event.
The Colony Meadery of Allentown had a variety of exotic meads available for sale at the market. Although sampling is no longer permitted due to new sanitation requirements, the booth was receiving a steady flow of customers.
Tombler’s Home Bakery of Easton is a longtime Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market vendor customers were excited to visit on opening day. The bakery is known for its pasties and other locally-famous delectable treats.
Coffee by Red Door Coffee Roasters of Center Valley was available for purchase by the cup or by the bag.
Macungie Mountain Herb Farm sells craft lemonade and other herbally-infused items.
Vendor Mediterra was at the market selling specialty foods and essential oils.
Moon Gate Farms had natural, locally-grown herbs and fresh produce for sale.
Alice’s Natural Nibbles was at the Saucon Valley Farmers’ Market to sell their locally-produced dog treats.