Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market to reopen

Bloomington Community Farmers' Market (City of Bloomington/Facebook)

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WTHR) — Bloomington's Community Farmers’ Market will reopen this weekend.

The announcement came from Mayor John Hamilton Tuesday evening.

The market will open Saturday, August 17 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Showers Common.

The market had been shutdown July 29 due to threats of violence and racial tension heightened by the presence of one vendor with perceived ties to white supremacists.

"As a community and as a country, we must be vigilant against all attempts to instill or arouse fear and prejudice. We must protect our civic spaces and our civic culture of inclusion and justice. We must not let hateful ideologies erode our trust and care for each other. Bloomington must be better than that and stronger than that," Mayor Hamilton said.

The reopened market will include some new aspects:

  • Cameras to monitor the site will enhance safety.
  • Two public streets will be closed to traffic during market hours to create a larger comfort zone for the market crowd (Morton Street from 7th to just south of the Smallwood garage entrance, and 7th Street between Morton and the B-Line Trail; 8th Street will be closed west of the market to the entrance of the Cook Medical Center).
  • The presence of police and other professional public safety officers will be increased.
  • New “market ambassadors,” volunteers with experience and commitment to the market, will welcome folks back and be visible embodiments of the inclusive spirit (If you’d like to join these market boosters, please let us know).
  • New signage will clearly indicate areas designated for flyering and expression and publicize market rules.

The mayor said the reopening still won't fully address the underlying issues that led to the market's closure.

He offered several long-term efforts:

  • Evaluate market options for next year -- Our Parks Department, working in tandem with our Parks Board and Market Advisory Council, with regular opportunity for public comment, will review vendor contracts, the vendor manual, and other guidelines from top to bottom, to consider improvements that can build on our 45-year market history and ensure our market is as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

  • Support community-led convenings to explore underlying issues, including:

    • Faith-based gathering on Tuesday, August 20

    • Bloomington United Community Gathering of Solidarity on Tuesday, August 27

  • Engage national experts to facilitate structured engagement to move our community toward more justice and inclusion, including:

    • Not in Our Town, a national program that provides tools to help build safe, inclusive communities and promote engagement

    • The Divided Community Project’s Bridge Initiative, based at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, a team of mediators with experience developing processes to keep protests safe while seeking to engage the entire community in systemic change

  • Support ongoing local efforts including:

To read Mayor Hamilton's complete statement, click here.

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