Mountain Mayhem: To market, to market
Since 1998, the Aspen Saturday Market has been a beloved summer tradition downtown offering Colorado-grown produce and Colorado-produced artisan products. As with everything in the world this year, the market looks a bit different from usual in adherence to health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.
The number of vendors has been reduced to 35 and there’s less real estate, so to speak, with just the Hyman and Galena and Hopkins and Galena blocks in use as opposed to the U-shaped circuit of yesteryear. Up to 50 individuals are allowed on each street at a time monitored by staff stationed at entrances and exits to regulate the crowd. All patrons are asked to social distance, to wear a mask at all times, and to leave pets at home.
Despite the rules and regulations put in place to keep one another safe, the market still exudes a community spirit and respectful energy among those who are patronizing it and those who are working it. Speaking with vendors over the weekend, each one expressed their appreciation to operate this summer. Jeff Isaacson has had a booth at the market for 20 years. Originally he was with the (now defunct) Glenwood Honey Company, which had 3,000 beehives from Aspen to Rifle. Nowadays, he runs Jeffreez Jelato stand, which, this summer, is set up in the very same spot his honey stand used to be, giving him pause for reflection. Boy Scout Nate Balko spent last Saturday at the market, generously distributing cloth bags as his Eagle Scout project. Joined by friends Connor Stephen and Nate Thomas, together they handed out 1,000 to passersby in an effort to eliminate single use plastics.
The Aspen Saturday Market is currently scheduled to run through October 3 with more information available online at http://www.aspen-saturdaymarket.com.