PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The Peoria RiverFront Market is scheduled to open May 16 in a
significantly reduced capacity than its normal operation, organizers said Monday.
The market will open in phases due to the COVID-19 pandemic and Illinois’ shelter-in-place order extension. It will start with perishable produce vendors only and other vendors will be phased in using a fluid timeline as proper safety precautions are ensured.
The Peoria RiverFront Association said it is dedicated to providing an outlet for local farmers to sell the produce they are currently growing and for our customers to purchase locally-grown food. Farmers markets have been deemed essential, and public safety is of utmost importance. The market will temporarily function as an “in-and-out” grocery store type of setting.
The following is what organizers are expecting to do:
- Phase 1: Only perishable produce and starter plants that will grow produce
- Phase 2: Add in Meats, Eggs, Cheese, Honey, and other agricultural products
- Phase 3: Add in Baked Goods and Value-Added Products
- Phase 4: Add in Ready-to-Eat Food Vendors and Art & Craft Vendors
Music, demonstrations, and other special events have been temporarily suspended. The timeline for each phase and reintroduction of events is fluid, so the market can grow as the state reduces restrictions and proper social distancing requirements can be ensured.
Staffers for the market are working with the Peoria City/County Health Department for guidance on enhanced sanitation procedures that will be required of all vendors.
The RiverFront Market is open every Saturday morning, 8 a.m. – noon, May 16 through Sept. 26. It first opened in 2004 to support local businesses in downtown Peoria.