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Public Invited to Holtville Farmers Markets, Annual Mellinger Trail Walk

HOLTVILLE – The city of Holtville is encouraging the public to attend a series of annual family-friendly outdoor events scheduled for the coming weeks.

A vendor serves a beverage to a customer at the farmers market at Holt Park in Holtville in October 2019. The city recently announced that it will return with two back-to-back farmers markets Oct. 29 and Nov. 11. | CORISSA IBARRA PHOTO

This year marks the return of the third annual “Walk the Trail” event on Oct. 24 in which participants will be encouraged to make their way around the Pete Mellinger Alamo River Trail.

The event is aimed at promoting recreational activities, as well as reminding locals of the scenic trail that skirts the nearby wetlands and passes underneath the Orchard Road bridge.  

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“We want to highlight the fact that (the trail) is there,” City Manager Nick Wells said.

The hourlong event will get underway at 8:30 a.m., at the skate park at the corner of Fourth Street and Pine Avenue. Those interested in participating are asked to register in advance. Registration forms are available at City Hall, 121 W. Fifth St., as well as online at www.holtville.ca.gov

City officials are hoping to attract an even larger crowd for the third annual event than in prior years and are asking that participants practice social distancing guidelines and wear a mask during the event.

Following the morning’s event, the public is invited to visit a health fair at Holt Park, where CVS Pharmacy will be providing free flu vaccinations, Wells said.

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The health fair has been a component of the annual Walk the Trail event in the past but will be scaled down this year on account of COVID-19, Wells said.

On Oct. 29, the city will host the first of its two scheduled Farmers Markets, with a second taking place Nov. 11, Veterans Day. The events will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in front of City Hall.

It is out of the ordinary for the city to schedule two farmers markets in close proximity to one another, Wells said, but hardly a bad thing.

“It’s not the worst thing in the world to have two farmers markets two weeks apart,” he said.

The events are made possible since the sale of food is considered an essential service under current county and state COVID-related restrictions, Wells said.

Yet, those same restrictions will prohibit organizers from providing live entertainment or broadcasting music, since those activities may prompt crowds to linger, Wells said. For similar reasons, there will not be an onsite beer garden.

Health and safety considerations will also restrict the number of food vendors allowed. Though past years’ events allowed for as many interested vendors as possible, social distancing guidelines will limit the amount accommodated this year, Wells said.

“We’re going to have a bit of a smaller footprint this time,” he said.

Other restrictions include no eating of food on site. The use of masks and social distancing will also be enforced.

No such restrictions will be placed on the number of participants. Nor will patrons be asked to leave the premises to make room for others. Food vendor forms are available City Hall and the city’s website.

The city has been hosting the annual farmers markets for the past several years, after taking over responsibility from the Holtville Chamber of Commerce, which had hosted the events for a few years itself.