Story by Katie Bisaro
The annual bulk pick-up that typically takes place during the month of May in the Village of Warwick has been postponed until further notice in compliance with state and local mandates in midst of the COVID-19 pandemic health crisis.
Mayor Michael Newhard acknowledged that bulk pick-up had taken place in the Village of Florida, however that had started prior to recent governmental directives.
“No new pick-ups should be scheduled in the region, so we are holding off until a later date,” Newhard stated.
Memorial Day Parade Cancelled
In a letter to the Village Board of Trustees, Post Adjutant Fred Houston of the Nicholas P. Lesando, Jr. American Legion Post 214 regretfully announced the cancellation of the annual Memorial Day Parade slated for Mon., May 25. It is the latest cancellation of a public event due to the ongoing coronavirus health situation.
“We are doing this because we wish to avoid infecting any of our participants or the general public with the Corona virus [sic],” wrote Houston in his letter to the Board.
Farmers’ Market Opened May 10
As an essential retail business in accordance with the Dept. of Agriculture and Markets, the Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market opened as scheduled on Sun., May 10 in the South St. parking lot in the Village of Warwick.
The Farmers’ Market will look very different this year as social distancing and other health guidelines are in place due to COVID-19. A comprehensive plan was developed by the market organizers, under the direction of Cheryl Rogowski, and was reviewed by the Village Board during its Zoom meeting on Mon., May 4.
New Protocols & Procedures
In order to provide crowd control, social distancing and sanitizing regimens in compliance with the current “New York State on PAUSE” directive, several measures will be in place including a single, separate entrance and exit; limits on the number of patrons allowed in at a time; required masks for vendors and patrons; no live entertainment or food sampling; and increased sanitization stations and regimens.
There will be no “self-service” at any of the vendors, patrons will not be allowed to handle produce or other retail items themselves. Vendors will put all items in bags and sanitize after each customer. Market organizers are encouraging patrons to use pre-order/pre-pay options, if possible, in order to enter the market and simply pick up purchases from vendors. Each vendor will maintain its own socially-distanced line. There will be bilingual signs throughout the market explaining the new procedures.
These new protocols will be reviewed as the season continues. As directives change the rules will be updated accordingly.
Market Grateful for Support
On behalf of the market and its vendors, Rogowski thanked the Board and community for their continued support during this difficult time.
“Opening the Farmers’ Market, I can’t begin to say what that means to us personally as farmers, our survival depends on this,” Rogowski said.
Mayor Newhard commented on the importance of the “mutual relationship” between the Farmers’ Market and the local economy, as a “catalyst” to the downtown.
“[The market] is a glimmer of hope to us in the community because it is a sign of life as we knew it. Of course, it’s very different but we are hoping that we will eventually get back to that normal state. Thank you for all you guys have done to push this and make this happen,” Newhard stated.
Photo by Jennifer O’Connor
The Warwick Valley Farmers’ Market opened as scheduled on Sun., May 10 in the South St. parking lot in the Village of Warwick.