This year’s farmer’s market in the Northside, which kicks off on June 12, will look a little different than it did in years past.

By Mario Cosentino

Photo by NSC Staff

The Mayor’s Office of Pittsburgh has started to detail what city residents can and can’t do this summer during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thankfully for Northside residents, farmer’s markets and city parks are both a part of early reopening plans.

In a statement on May 15, Mayor Bill Peduto acknowledged the progress made against the virus, but warned that the battle against COVID-19 is not yet over. The Northside, led by a high of 10 cases in the Perry North (also known as Observatory Hill) neighborhood, is doing well compared to other parts of the city such as Shadyside and Glen Hazel which have 100 and 80 documented cases, respectively. At the time this article was published, Chateau, Allegheny West, Fineview, and Spring Garden all have zero cases reported.

“Pittsburgh residents have done a great job during these trying times staying safe and looking out for each other. However, we must keep social distancing and other measures in place to win this fight, even when we’re enjoying the outdoors,” Peduto said.

He went on to announce that the city’s farmer’s markets are in the process of reopening on a rolling schedule; Carrick was the first one to open on June 3. The weekly farmer’s market in Union Place, at East Ohio Street and Cedar Avenue in the Northside’s Allegheny Commons Park, will start up again on Friday, June 12 from 3-7 p.m.

While vendors and shoppers alike will be glad to return, this year’s farmer’s market will look a little different than it did in years past.

“New this year will be enhanced health and safety procedures for shoppers and vendors. Many of our vendors accept advance orders and payment online, so we’re encouraging patrons to preorder from their favorite vendors to limit time spent at the markets,” said Brian Katze, manager of the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events via an announcement on the City of Pittsburgh’s website.

Additionally, all shoppers are required to wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and follow a one shopper per household rule.

Restrictions on city parks that have been in place since mid March  are also in the process of being lifted. These will be put into effect on a rolling basis, with most park amenities expected to be open by June 15.

Playgrounds, basketball courts, spray parks, ballfields, and park shelters have all been set to reopen now that Allegheny County has moved to the green phase of Governor Wolf’s reopening phases.

Organized sports have been given the green light to start, provided that CDC guidelines are followed.

Other activities such as tennis and pickleball, drive-in movies, frisbee golf, and lawn bowling are also permitted with the understanding that social distancing rules are still in place. Some park amenities such as water fountains, restrooms, and recreational centers will remain closed for the time being.

Large gatherings such as city-sponsored concerts, road races, Fourth of July fireworks, and most summer camps will not take place, due to the impracticality of social distancing in these environments. Swimmings pools will also be closed because the city pools’ waiting rooms, locker rooms, and lounge areas were deemed too cramped to allow for appropriate distancing under CDC guidelines.

As Allegheny County and the city of Pittsburgh continue to reopen, you can find updates and other information on the City’s COVID-19 response page.

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