The 2020 Socially Distanced Holiday Market on Grand Avenue has everything one could want this season: locally made soaps, jewelry, pet products, ornaments, stationary, yoga accessories… and masks, hand sanitizer, limited admission and people staying 6 feet away from each other.
The organizers of the event, local business owners Nancy Hill of printing press Hazel & Violet and Kate Benjamin of cat-centric company Hauspanther, brainstormed all the ways they could make the experience as safe as possible for everyone. The market will be held outdoors, in the parking lot of Bragg’s Pie Factory, and booths will be spaced 6 feet apart.
“We will be requiring everyone to wear masks at all times and we will limit the number of shoppers in the parking lot at any given time,” Benjamin says. “Strawberry Hedgehog is graciously donating the hand sanitizer that will be available at both the entrance and exit… we are also encouraging each vendor to have hand sanitizer available for shoppers to use at their booths.”
A foot-pump hand washing station will be on site, as well, and vendors have been asked to set up merchandise at the perimeter of each booth so shoppers do not have to walk into a semi-enclosed space. “With all these precautions in place, we are hoping that everyone feels safe enough to come out and do some holiday shopping,” Benjamin says.
It was important to the vendors to feel safe and comfortable, as well. Tracy Perkins, who owns vegan body-care product business Strawberry Hedgehog, says she’s participating because of all the safety measures and because the market’s being held in an outdoor, gated space. “I really appreciate how thoughtful Kate has been in organizing this event for those of us who rely on holiday sales,” Perkins says. “I have not felt safe even opening my own soap shop as I have compromised immunity, let alone at a traditional, crowded market with no enforcement of proper mask wearing, social distancing and use of sanitizer, etc.”
The 2020 Socially Distanced Holiday Market on Grand Avenue takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. over five consecutive Saturdays in the Bragg’s Pie Factory parking lot, starting November 21 and continuing November 28, December 5, December 12 and December 19. More than 31 vendors have signed up for the five market dates and will rotate each week, with about 16 at each market. Each week’s vendors can be found on the 2020 Socially Distanced Holiday Market on Grand Avenue Market Facebook page.