COLUMBIA FALLS — The sixth annual Columbia Falls Community Market opens Thursday under new safety guidelines due to COVID-19 concerns.
Community Market president O’Brien Byrd says vendors will be cut down 60% than normal with no kid or craft vendors, live music or beer garden. Each vendor will have their own hand sanitizing station and social distancing will be practiced throughout the market.
Byrd encourages the public to not show up in groups, sending just one family member to the market to pick up fresh produce.
“Basically, the theme is we’re not giving anybody the opportunity to linger, they’re going to show up get their produce, get their plants, get their food to go, waive hi and see you later,” said Byrd.
As restrictions start to ease, Byrd hopes to bring back more vendors, and live music under strict safety guidelines. He said the community market plans to stay in constant contact with the Flathead County Health Department for the months to come.
“We’re just going to try to be safe as possible, we want to be safe for our community, it’s our responsibility to be safe," Byrd said. "We’re very confident because we’re listening to everything the Flathead County Health Department is telling us.”
Market hours will remain the same as years past from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. every Thursday.