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September 23, 2023

Soledad farmers market returns with new season after shutdown

Community event runs every Thursday, 4 to 6 p.m., until October

SOLEDAD — Soledad Historical Society’s farmers market returned with a new season that began on April 1.

Signs posted at the entryway of the closed lanes at 135 Soledad St. asked guests to observe Covid-19 health guidelines, such as wearing masks and keeping spaced apart.

The new season follows the interrupted 2020 farmers market, which operated for only half a season due to coronavirus pandemic shutdowns.

“This is our major fundraiser for the historical society that allows us to take displays to the local schools … so kids see things that are real,” said Graig Stephens, the historical society president.

Merchants were present at the market selling food and produce, as well as the police department with an information table and the City of Soledad selling centennial merchandise. Community groups also passed out information, such as fliers about vaccines.

Stephens said community members knew the drill with health guidelines and that everyone had been good about wearing masks.

Ten total booths were set up at the initial farmers market, and Stephens said that would expand with two more produce vendors, one selling melons and the other selling stone fruits, as well as a barbecue vendor.

That, plus some areas for nonprofits, would be the maximum capacity for the market due to traffic needs and wind limiting their expanse to half the block’s length.

“We can fit a small number here,” Stephens said. “We don’t even have a city block.”

He noted if pandemic guidelines loosen up, it wouldn’t necessarily mean more vendors, but the possibility of having vendors and people closer together without so much spacing.

The Soledad farmers market will continue every Thursday, from 4 to 8 p.m., until the first Thursday in October, which will be its final day this season.

Sean Roney
Sean Roney is a freelance reporter for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for the Salinas Valley communities in South Monterey County.


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