Downtown Underground Market Opens This Sunday

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Courtesy of the City of East Lansing, image by east arbor architecture.

Wintry weather won’t stop an outdoor farmers market from happening in downtown East Lansing, starting this Sunday, Feb. 14, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The East Lansing Downtown Underground Market is coming to the lowest level (P1) of the M.A.C. Avenue Garage (310 M.A.C. Ave), located under the East Lansing Marriott Hotel.

Farmers’ Market Manager and Community Events Assistant Karla Forrest-Hewitt spoke about the upcoming event.

“The idea is to create a safe space in which local business, local entrepreneurs and customers can come together and support their local economy,” Forrest-Hewitt said.

Vendors include Agape Organic Farm, El Burrito Mexicano, Hickory Knoll Farms Creamery, Jenny’s Sweets & Treats, Udderly Magic, Lou and Harry’s, MenuBubble, One Mean Team, Rivertree Coffee Company, Stone Circle Bakehouse, The Cheese People of Grand Rapids, The Pasta Shop, Two Stix 5 Stones, Wooden Shoe Herb Farm, MI Great Lakes Fish Company, Sweet Potato Delights, Dirty Paw Mixed Media, Grand Traverse Pie Company, Twisted Cocktails, and Grand Traverse Sauce Company.

Scheduled market Sundays include Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 14, March 28, April 11, April 25, and May 9.

“My hope is that this market will help give our residents and surrounding communities an opportunity to feel connected. If these past few months have taught me anything, it is that you have to continuously strive and evolve to overcome the challenges that we face today,” said Forrest-Hewitt.

The planning stages required much collaboration. The City worked closely with Ingham County Health Department, Michigan Department of Rural Agriculture, and the Downtown Development Authority.

Social distancing and one-way traffic will be enforced, and mask-wearing is mandatory. More guidelines and directions can be found here.

“There will be a designated entry and exit point, vendors will be distanced, staff will be there to provide direction to guests,” Forrest-Hewitt said. “To keep everyone safe, we will require that no food be consumed inside the market. Hand sanitizing stations will be in place. All guests should wear a mask over the nose and mouth. Face shields will not be a suitable substitute for masks. A face shield can be complemented by a mask that covers nose and mouth.”

SNAP will be accepted at the market, as well as Double up Food Bucks. Shoppers will be able to purchase fresh, farm-grown Michigan produce and locally-made crafts, which supports local vendors.

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