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Farmers' Market celebrates opening weekend after being ruled 'essential'

"The warm weather and the sunshine, it should all contribute to wanting to get out and support small businesses."

MINNEAPOLIS — Spring has bloomed and so have farmers' markets in Minnesota.

Due to COVID-19, the Minneapolis Farmers' Market looks a little different to owners Scott and Jay Barriball. The largest venue in the state, and others like it, were recently ruled 'essential' under the Governor's Stay-At-Home order.

Saturday was opening day, and they'll be open every Saturday and Sunday throughout the spring and summer.

"We’re doing everything we can to make it a safe space," Scott Barriball said. "The warm weather and the sunshine, it should all contribute to wanting to get out and support small businesses."

Located off Lyndale Avenue near downtown, they are taking extra precautions to keep everyone safe. The market is spreading vendors out, eliminating sampling and installing sanitizing stations. 

"It is a precaution," cheese vendor Scott Graham said. "Spacing is important so there’s some restrictions but we’ll get through this and things will change."

The Market normally hosts nearly 150 vendors, but early spring is typically slow because many crops have yet to be harvested. The owners said they were pleasantly surprised by the turnout on Saturday.

Small business owners and customers alike say they're hopeful this Minnesota staple continues to grow into the summer.

Find more information about the Minneapolis Farmers Market here.

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The state of Minnesota has set up a hotline for general questions about coronavirus at 651-201-3920 or 1-800-657-3903, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

There is also a data portal online at mn.gov/covid19.

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