Farmers Markets to reopen with restrictions this weekend in Seattle

SEATTLE -- Two of Seattle's most popular farmers markets will re-open this weekend, but organizers want to be very clear - there are some big changes.

The Ballard and University District farmers' markets closed weeks ago at the start of the COVID-19 outbreak. Now they have a special one week permit to operate.

The University District Farmers Market will open 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 18.

The Ballard Farmers Market is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday, April 19.

Organizers say less than a third of the booths will be open and they're offering drive-up and reservation options.  They will also restrict the number of people allowed in at one time.

These are just some of the dozens of strict safety precautions the market is taking.

"This is not a social experience," said Doug Farr of the Seattle Farmers Markets Association. "For 20 years we've loved to be the center place of neighborhoods. This is not the time or the place."

Organizers encourage only one family member from each household to show up and will restrict time in the market to 10 minutes.

The city will review how this weekend goes and determine further market openings.