People’s Market is on for June 10 following distancing guidelines

JACKSON, Wyo. — Slow Food in the Tetons’ weekly People’s Market returns for its 11th season with a modified market plan and renewed determination to provide good, clean, fair food. 

“The pandemic has brought the importance of fresh, local, sustainable food to the forefront of the global stage like never before,” Slow Food’s Executive Director, Scott Steen explained. “We are prepared to make the necessary accommodations to open the People’s Market this summer in support of the community’s health and in celebration of a thriving local and regional, sustainable food system.”

The popular festival of food and community will return to Wednesday afternoons, beginning June 10 through September 23, from 4 to 7 pm, at Snow King Ball Park. The market’s June 10th opener has been scaled back to what organizers are calling Phase One.

“We feel a responsibility to protect the health and safety of shoppers, vendors, staff, and community,” Steen said. “It’s a privilege to be entrusted with coordinating one of the first community-wide events since COVID, and we want to set a safe and responsible precedent for later season markets and all other events taking place this summer.” Some of the safety guidelines market-goers can expect to include face masks, six-feet of social distance, hand sanitizer upon entry, and a preference for cashless transactions.

In the beginning, shoppers should plan for an essentials-only experience. At least through June, the vendor list will include only essential produce and meats, fresh from the farm and ranch, to purchase and then enjoy at home. Traditional picnic style, prepared food, and on-site gathering are on-hold until later market phases when the health and safety protocols are better established.

“Slow Food is a natural extension of what we at Wind River Capital Management believe in and wants to support,” Cody Lockhart said. As a sixth-generation local rancher, Lockhart can attest to the value of a strong connection between the community that thrives here and the local food system that nourishes it, “Over the past decade, the People’s Market has proven to be an incredible resource for connecting our community with fresh, local food. It has also become one of our favorite places to connect with our friends and neighbors. We are privileged to support Slow Food in their efforts to safely serve our community during a time when working together as a community couldn’t be more important.”

A proposal for Phase Two of the market includes the return of packaged and prepared food vendors serving to-go style meals. Eventually, organizers are optimistic that they will receive permission for Phase Three, with a full slate of onsite picnic opportunities, alcohol, live music, featured nonprofits, and more of the traditional market fare. Decisions to expand into new phases of the market will be made in conjunction with the Town of Jackson and Teton County Environmental Health.

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