HERMISTON — The Maxwell Market will open for its summer season on Thursday.
Owner Mitch Myers said Umatilla County entering Phase 1 of reopening means the market can offer features, such as outdoor seating, that he was previously uncertain would be allowed. The Maxwell Market being run as a business on private property allows them to operate using the same safety measures people are now seeing in stores and restaurants.
“We’ve done our due diligence,” he said.
Booths and tables will be spaced 6 feet apart, with markers for people to stand on while waiting in line. Vendors will be required to wear masks, hand sanitizer will be available on tables, and everything will be cleaned regularly. Extra space between booths will mean that more booths will be spread around the outside of the open-air pavilion, under individual tents. And no early shoppers will be allowed, in order to give vendors the extra time needed to set up.
The market will run from 4-8 p.m. each Thursday at the Maxwell Pavilion, 145 N. First Place in Hermiston, and will include live music.
Myers said the market will add more booths outside the main pavilion as the season goes on, but farmers selling produce were given priority for spaces initially available.
“A crafter doesn’t have a perishable crop,” he said. “When strawberries come off the vine, strawberries have got to be sold.”
He said he is excited to offer the market to people who have been cooped up indoors for months, but acknowledged that some people, particularly those in high-risk categories, may still feel it is too risky.
“That’s a decision people have to make for themselves,” he said. “We’ll do our part to keep things safe.”