After closing in March over concerns about the coronavirus, one Sugar Land farmers market has found a way to reopen and keep guests cool during the summer months.
The Sunday Sugar Land Farmers Market previously held at Fort Bend ISD’s Mercer Stadium will reopen June 14 inside First Colony Mall near the Dillards, said Tony Argento, a co-founder of Big Group Events, the company that organizes the market.
Argento said the organization has previously wanted to move indoors because of hot Texas summers.
“The outdoor market at Mercer Stadium is a great location, and we’re extremely pleased that we're able to use that location from Fort Bend ISD,” Argento said. “But we always run into this issue: We're in Texas.”
The market opened for the season in February at Mercer Stadium but had to close once Fort Bend ISD shuttered its facilities because of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the peak period for the vendors is the spring,” Argento said.
The farmers market will be held every Sunday throughout the summer, Argento said. Around October, he said Big Group Events will consider moving the market back to Mercer Stadium, but that decision depends on their success at the mall.
“If it's really successful indoors, it probably doesn't make much sense to come back outdoors and confuse the public and confuse the vendors,” Argento said. “If it's successful, more than likely, we're just going to stay.”
Argento said because of the coronavirus, vendors will be complying with all of the rules and regulations for other tenants at the mall as well as guidelines from local health departments. These measures include extra space between each booth and some mask and glove requirements for vendors.
After several months without a market to attend, Argento said he is hearing from vendors who are eagerly anticipating the June 14 return date.
“These vendors, for many of them, it may be their only income; it's supplemental income for their families, their children's education, and it's a critical part of their lives,” Argento said. “So they're very excited about getting back to all the markets they attend. And then, many of them are really excited for that six hours of air conditioning and no wind and rain in July. That’s a pretty nice idea.”
Other Sugar Land, Missouri City farmers markets
The Fort Bend Chamber of Commerce hosts a Saturday farmers market from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. at the Imperial Park Recreation Center, and in Missouri City there is a Saturday farmers market from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. behind the Sienna Branch Library.
Both of these markets have resumed operations with increased safety procedures in place.