City Park to host Farmers Market again

TORRINGTON – The Torrington Farmers Market held a meeting at 5 p.m. on Thursday, April 15 to meet new vendors, inform them of a location change and set expectations.

The meeting was held on Zoom, due to the winter storm warning. Vendors who were not able to attend the meeting were emailed a recording of it.

The meeting was facilitated by Megan Brittingham of Wyoming 4-H and UW Extension, with input from Sandy Hoehn, Sheila Muhlenkamp and Nick Gompert, who are on the market’s board of directors.

This year, the market will be moved back to City Park, near West C Street and West 22nd Avenue.

The market’s start date is June 24 and will be every Thursday, from 4-6 p.m.

Vendors will pay a maximum fee of $100 for the summer. Otherwise, they can pay $10 per market.

For those looking to become vendors for this summer’s market, applications can be picked up at Goshen County Chamber of Commerce (at 21st & Main) or the Extension Office, said Hoehn.

“We’re hoping to have the vendors that we had before COVID come back out,” said Hoehn.

The turnout for this year will likely be anywhere from 10 to 20 vendors, depending on the season.

With lower vendor turnouts in beginning weeks, Hoehn expects to be at full capacity (20 vendors) in mid-July.

Last year, according to Hoehn, there were consistently 10 to 15 vendors. Vendors and guests were also reminded to remain socially distant every hour.

One big change last year was not related to the pandemic.

Because of construction around the previous site, “the mayor generously let the Farmers Market be on Main Street without any permit fees, so that was awesome, but it just was a lot of juggling last year on top of COVID,”
Hoehn said.

Last summer, vendors and guests were reminded every hour to stay socially distant.

“Last year, our plan was always to move back to the park,” she said, adding that last year’s community survey indicated some businesses were not in favor of doing it on Main Street again.

Hoehn said this summer they will be focused on the northwest side of the park, to try to alleviate the previous problem of congestion on West C Street.

Another change because of the pandemic was not being able to host their annual watermelon-eating contest or their soup cook-off.

Hoehn said the watermelon-eating contest was started with the hopes of drawing more of the community to the market.

The soup cook-off, according to Hoehn, is intended to showcase vendors and what people can do with their products. Participants are encouraged to get their meats and vegetables from the market for this October event.

Vendors were reminded they cannot start selling goods until the kettle bell rings at 4 p.m.

Muhlenkamp explained this is out of fairness and making sure set-up runs smoothly.

The layout of the market is on a first-come first-served basis, according to Gompert. Vendors can arrive as early as they would like, but he recommended arriving by 3 p.m.

The group also discussed parking and weather-related regulations.

Specific COVID-19 precautions haven’t been determined by the board yet. Hoehn said this year, they will work with Goshen County Public Health prior to the start of the market to determine any restrictions. As of now, according to Hoehn, masks will be encouraged but not required.

Gompert said as the board finalizes those decisions, updates will be sent out by email and on Facebook.

For the most up-to-date information, visit “Torrington WY Farmers’ Market” on Facebook.

Brittingham said there will be another vendor meeting with updated information as the June 24 approaches.

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