ORLANDO, Fla. – A popular downtown Orlando event is making a comeback after it was on hiatus for months due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Orlando Farmer’s Market reopened in Lake Eola Park on Sunday.
Vendors showed up early to set up their tents, cook food and put the finishing touches on their booths. It’s a sight Jim and Beth Hobart haven’t seen in months.
“We were just out for a walk with our dog and we glanced over and saw that it was here,” Jim Hobart said.
The Hobarts said they used to shop regularly at the Orlando Farmer’s Market. But it shut down in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shutdown put small businesses, like Cindy Wetherington’s “Mountain Creek Candles” in jeopardy.
“This is my livelihood in the markets,” Wetherington said. “So if there is no markets, we don’t sell anything and that hurt really bad.”
But Wetherington said she did a happy dance after learning the market was reopening, although it looks a bit different.
The event is smaller with only a third of the vendors. Everyone is required to wear masks. Downtown ambassadors with the City of Orlando handed out masks to people who didn’t have one.
Social distancing is also required.
“We have to limit the number of people that can come into the booths. Just one family at a time or two people and other than that they have to stay 6 feet out,” Wetherington said.
Mayor Buddy Dyer said the city learned its lesson from Halloween, so alcohol will not be available.
Wetherington said despite the changes, she is happy to be back.
“This has been my best market and I have a lot of repeat customers and I let them all know on Facebook I’m back!” she said.
The Hobarts add this is a great and safe way to support small businesses.
“It just feels like things are getting a little more back to normal and just bringing people together at a safe distance and they’re doing it really well,” Beth Hobart said.
Click or tap here to learn more about the Orlando Farmer’s Market.