At the Farmers Market

The downtown farmers market has been located around Central Park for many years, most recently on Marshall Avenue, and before that on Second Street. Litchfield City Council approved a plan last week to move the market to Fourth Street. The plan’s promoters, Council members Ron Dingmann and Betty Allen, said they thought the change would improve safety, reduce congestion on Marshall Avenue on market days, and — they hoped — bring two farmers market factions together in one location.

A downtown farmers market is scheduled to open this week after action by the Litchfield City Council last week.

The Council approved a new location for the farmers market in Central Park, moving it from its longtime location on the east side of the park on Marshall Avenue to the park’s north side, on Fourth Street.

Primary goal of the new location, Council member Ron Dingmann said, is safety. Dingmann, who operates an insurance agency on Marshall Avenue, across the street from the park, said he’d witnessed some close calls safety-wise when the farmers market was operating on Marshall in past years. He hoped moving it to Fourth Street, and closing off the street between Sibley Avenue and Marshall, would allow for enough room and more safety.

The entire block of Fourth Street will not be closed, however, as the city’s electric vehicle charging station is located on the western end. So, market set up will begin just east of the station.

Hours of operation for the market also will be changed after Council action, with the market allowed to operate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursdays.

Dingmann and Council member Betty Allen said they also hoped that the reworked location and times might bring together two farmers market factions that have operated separately for several years — one on the east side of Central Park and another in the parking lot at what is now the Muddy Cow restaurant.

“We would invite vendors from both markets to join us at this new location,” Allen and Dingmann wrote in a memo included in the Council agenda packet. “Depending on the number of vendors, we would also recommend having locations available for vendors set up along the diagonal walkways on the northeast section of Central Park if they choose.”

Vendors at the market will be asked to follow health guidelines and carry liability insurance.