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Oshkosh Farmers Markets begins winter season with health safety measures

Published: Nov. 14, 2020 at 3:42 PM CST
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OSHKOSH, Wis. (WBAY) - Many winter farmers markets have been cancelled or switched to an online format this year because of the pandemic. But the Oshkosh Farmers Markets decided to still host its winter market in person this season.

“The vendors and our community really needed it,” said Market Manager Michelle Schultz.

Schultz felt it was important to continue with an indoor winter market this year.

“We provide a safer shopping environment for local and locally raised and produced foods than the big box stores,” said Schultz.

The market is held in the Oshkosh Convention Center’s ballroom.

Aside from masking and providing hand sanitizer, capacity is kept at 50 percent to ensure social distancing for vendors and shoppers.

Plus market hours have been extended this year from the usual three-and-a-half-hour to a seven-hour day to ensure there’s a chance for everyone to stop by without things getting too crowded. This season it will run from 8:00 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“The other reason we moved forward with our market is so that we have some vendors for next year,” said Schultz.

“The fact that the Oshkosh market is still going, gigantic for us,” said Kari Trzinski, owner of the Green Bay Oil Company.

Trzinski says for businesses like hers that don’t have brick and mortar shops, farmers markets are extremely important.

“We will take what we can get and I am just blessed right now that Oshkosh has offered us this opportunity because many have closed.” 7 sec

Vendors were happy to see people coming out to show their support.

“Very supportive. The community of Oshkosh is a great community. So friendly, the vendors are like a family, the customers are like a family,” said Cheri Duchrow, a volunteer for J for Hope, which sells jewelry at markets to support children in need and other community programs.

“It’s been great,” said Tzinski.

Schultz hopes to see that support continue for the rest of the winter season.

“If we want to have a market in future years, we really need to try to find ways to support these people and help them through this pandemic,” said Schultz.

The next Oshkosh winter market will be held Nov. 21.

The best way to keep up with the winter market is through the Oshkosh Farmers Markets Facebook page.

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