Downtown market future is unknown

TIM JEAN/File photo. A customer picks through a basket of sweet Italian peppers from Country Dream Farms last year during the Derry Homegrown Farm and Artisan Market in downtown Derry. The market will not open as scheduled in June and it's future this season remains unknown.

DERRY — A fresh, summer tradition in downtown Derry may shuttered this season .

Due to the coronavirus crisis, the anticipated June opening day for Derry's Homegrown Farm and Artisan Market will not take place.

And in a statement, market organizers said it's still uncertain whether the summer market will happen at all.

The market has operated every summer on Broadway since 2017, taken over by a new group of organizers and supporters.

But the virus challenges pose too much risk to vendors, volunteers, market patrons and the community, organizers said.

"We have decided as a board that it will not be before July at the earliest and the possibility exists that it may not happen at all," the statement reads.

The market board said it would be too difficult to maintain social distancing, as the event traditionally welcomes upward of 700 people on a weekly basis over a four-hour time frame.

"While we cannot say that we are overly hopeful, we continue to look, listen and explore options such as an alternate location that might better suit today’s circumstances," the statement continues. "This is not an easy decision for anyone on our board. The entire board and volunteers have poured their heart and soul into this market for three years and frankly, have enjoyed every minute of it and have been immensely grateful for the support the community has shown."

Market organizers will continue to talk with other area markets and also analyze what the next few weeks might bring.

"At this point we hope to make a final determination on the season sometime after Memorial Day," organizers said. "However, barring some extraordinary circumstances, it is not looking good."

For more info, contact Derry Homegrown at info@derryhomegrown.org, call (603) 548-3935 or visit derryhomegrown.org.

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