Pine River Market Square, a local growers and crafters market, will begin its 12th season in Pine River starting Friday, May 29, in a new location.

The Pine River Chamber Information Center grounds will host the weekly farmers market along the Paul Bunyan State Trail parallel to Highway 371 on the corner of Barclay Avenue and Highway 371 at the traffic light.

The market will run from 2:30-5:30 p.m. Fridays, May 29-Sept. 25, and feature a variety of vendors with local goods from fresh produce, to garden starter plants, meat, baked goods, eggs, honey, crafts and more.

Given the current challenges with the pandemic, the market will look and feel a bit different. The annual plant sale operated by the Pine River Garden Club at the first market was canceled this year. There will, however, be starter plants and some perennial plants available from vendors and at the community booth.

Additional Minnesota Department of Health recommended procedures will be followed as farmers markets are allowed to proceed as planned. This allows greater access to local goods for residents and visitors alike.

New routines customers will need to add to their weekly Friday farmers’ market shopping include: entering from one location off the parking lot, hand-washing upon entering the market, social distancing of 6 feet between customers, vendors in a single line along the trail with proper distancing, a limit of 10 shoppers in the market area at a time, suggested mask-wearing (though not required) and a single “exit” from the market when shopping is completed.

Vendors will be set up with an extra “spacing/exchange” table between customers and the goods so people will see their options from a slight distance rather than up-close. This is to minimize exposure of goods and aid shoppers in getting the “cleanest” goods possible.

Farmers markets are also restricted from any food sampling and on-site eating of any food goods this year.

Tips for customers coming to the market are to use correct change as much as possible in purchasing goods (cash is always best, though some vendors do have credit card capability and checks are welcome); limit shoppers to one per family rather than past practice of bringing the entire family and friends; and save tasting and eating of any goods for home.

Growers and crafters who are within 60 miles of Pine River and meet the market vendor guidelines are welcome for the upcoming season. Whether a seasoned vendor or considering becoming a market vendor, learn more about the market, get vendor guidelines and applications via prmarketsquare.wordpress.com or by calling market manager Mim Brien at 218-838-1943.