An annual tradition that will look a lot different this year, the Newberg Holiday Market, is nigh. The market is set for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday outside the Chehalem Cultural Center with plenty of social distancing and other measures in place.
The market will be held in the forecourt of the Chehalem Cultural Center and expanded onto Sheridan Street. It has local vendors with handmade goods and food with holiday themes.
"We are hosting the market much earlier this year because COVID regulations have made it challenging to hold an indoor market," Britta Stewart, associate director of the Newberg Downtown Coalition, said prior to the market's opening. "Space would have to be very limited and we would not be able to accommodate enough vendors. Holding the market outdoors allows us to have adequate space for social distancing and still have a large number of vendors."
Many of the vendors from the Wednesday markets in Newberg were in attendance, along with a handful of others from the community that included artists and crafters. The decision to move to October was a simple one for the downtown coalition.
"Oregon weather poses a challenge to outdoor events later in the fall and winter, so we wanted to capitalize on the pleasant fall weather and host the market in October," Stewart said. "This also allows vendors to expand what they offer and hopefully bring items that are fitting for the whole upcoming holiday season from Halloween through New Year's."
All vendors at the market will be spaced at least six feet apart, the Downtown Coalition required shoppers and vendors to wear face coverings, and there will be ample hand sanitizer available for patrons at the entrances and exits of the market. Safety is a major priority and the coalition made sure to communicate that to the public prior to the start of the market.
"Current recommendations from the CDC, state of Oregon and the Oregon Farmers Market Association (OFMA) support opening a market in order to support businesses and consumers," a FAQ sheet provided by the Downtown Coalition said. "Similarly, grocery stores are open and restaurants can offer take-out. The risk involved with a market is similar to a grocery store, except the market is outdoors, so potential contaminants are not contained."
For more information on the Downtown Coalition and its holiday market, visit https://www.facebook.com/Newbergholidaymarket/.
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