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People mill about Holt Park checking out various vendor booths during a farmers market in Holtville on Oct. 29, 2020, where attendees were encouraged to practice social distancing and follow COVID-19 safety guidelines. | FILE PHOTO

Another Holtville Farmers Market Back by Popular Demand

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HOLTVILLE — The city of Holtville and the Chamber of Commerce have scheduled another farmers market for March 13 in response to a steady stream of emails, messages, and texts from community members eager to take in the outdoor fun.

The four-hour event will get underway at noon at Ralph Samaha Park, which is a departure from its previous location at Holt Park but presents a more convenient location for event organizers.

The event also happened to be scheduled to take place exactly a month after the annual Carrot Festival parade was to have taken place, said Rosie Allegranza, chamber chief executive officer.

“We want to do something, and I know people want us to do something,” Allegranza said.

Already, the chamber and city have had success hosting two previous farmers markets in October and November amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shift to Samaha Park was suggested by Holtville Fire Chief Alex Silva and is further expected to help organizers present a safe experience for patrons, vendors, and volunteers, Allegranza said.

The event is also intended to help the Holtville chamber raise funds to offset lost revenue that resulted from the cancellation of Carrot Festival events, Allegranza said.

“This is an opportunity to make a little bit of money,” she said.

A limited number of vendor spaces are available, so those interested in selling their wares and food items are encouraged to contact the chamber for an application.

For the event, the park will have one entry and one exit point for patrons, with food vendors lined up toward the end of a one-way path designated for attendees of the event. Both onsite seating and eating will be restricted at the park.

Food vendors are asked to submit their applications at least two and a half weeks for review by the county Environmental Health Division, Allegranza said.

The county will also be reviewing vendors’ applications to ensure only items considered essential will be sold during the event, she said.

“This is the only way to do this with all the COVID-19 guidelines in place,” Allegranza said.

Event organizers are also required to submit a map of the event’s layout, as well as a plan detailing the precautionary measures that will be in place to help reduce the potential exposure to the coronavirus.

“The county will come that day to make sure everything is on the up and up,” Allegranza said.

Previously, local Public Health officials expressed praise for the way the two previous farmers markets had been organized and presented.

“They’ve always been happy with how things are run and organized,” Allegranza said, adding that the city’s personnel technician, Haley Dowsey, deserves credit for helping organize the farmers markets.