Derry farmers market might not open this year

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Derry Farmers Market organizers weighing options for opening with social distancing in mind, but say it doesn’t look promising for a summer market. Photo/Ryan Lessard

DERRY NH — The volunteer board of the Derry Homegrown Farm and Artisan Market announced Monday that the farmers market will not open June 3 as originally scheduled, according to a press release.

“Equally distressing is that at this point we don’t know when, or if, we will open for the 2020 season,” board Vice President Neil Wetherbee said in a release.

The board decided the market will not open before July and the possibility exists that it may not open at all this year.

They said the safety of their vendors, volunteers and patrons must be a priority, and while other farmers’ markets are pushing forward, Derry is still a “hot spot” for COVID-19 cases. As of the week of May 4, the town had 229 positive cases, which is close to Nashua’s 239.

The board members said they were disheartened at the prospect of not holding a farmers market this season, but they’ve been immensely grateful for the support they’ve received from the community over the past three years since the market started up in its current form.

Organizers said they were not “overly hopeful” that a farmers market will happen in Derry this year, but they are keeping their options open, speaking with other farmers’ markets and exploring other locations.

“Barring some extraordinary circumstances, it is not looking good,” Wetherbee said.

The current location being small and grassy and right in the downtown area, near the rail trail made social distancing challenging. Last year, total attendance reached 700 to 750 people. 

The organizers hope to reach a final determination sometime after Memorial Day.