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HarborMarket, proposed Public Market among few options left in summer
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HarborMarket, proposed Public Market among few options left in summer

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HARBOR MARKET

Bao Xiong, left, waits on a customer at her family’s produce stand at HarborMarket on Saturday, the last outdoor day for the market.

With the long-awaited opening of Kenosha HarborMarket set for later this month, visitors can expect to see the popular open-air European-style Saturday street market with its food vendors and local farmers in configurations that provide for safety amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ray Forgianni, president of the board, said last week he is looking forward to opening the 2020 outdoor season on June 27.

“In the wake of the impact of COVID-19 on the community, the market will have a slightly different feel,” he said.

“We have been working closely with officials of the city of Kenosha and Kenosha County to assure the safety of market visitors, as well as our valued vendors. New guidelines and requirements regarding points of access, crowd-spacing and sanitation will be in place,” he said. “We hope the public will help us protect both them and the vendors by paying attention to new signage and by using requested access points and paying attention to crowd-flow directions.”

Before the opening, Forgianni said the market would continue to work with city officials and staff to assure HarborMarket will be “a safe and enjoyable place.”

“Further direction from the city may have an impact on parking and how street traffic may be affected. We will communicate those changes as soon as we know them,” he said.

With most other events cancelled due coronavirus health concerns, HarborMarket, located on Second Avenue between 54th and 56th Streets, may be one of the few summertime staples left for the public to enjoy.

It may also have some direct competition, as well, as the city considers plans for a second large-scale food and farmer’s market that expects to open on the same day.

Plans for the proposed Kenosha Public Market Inc. went before both the city’s Parks Commission and the Public Works Committee May 27; it received the blessing of the former and a vote to delay action from the latter.

The proposed market is looking to operate at and near Veterans Memorial Park, next to the city’s Municipal Building at 625 52nd St., about four blocks west of HarborMarket.

During the meetings, Michael McTernan, the newly formed market’s president, anticipated about 60 vendors participating and said there would be curbside pick up for customers to encourage social distancing.

In voting to delay, several members of the Public Works Committee expressed reservations, some wanting to know about the Public Market’s evacuation plans and the rationale for holding its weekend fair on the same day as HarborMarket. McTernan has said he believes both markets can coexist.

Forgianni looked to focus on promoting downtown’s offerings.

“HarborMarket has been a summer Saturday destination for visitors to Kenosha for many years. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and new visitors as they come to one of the most beautiful settings for a public market anywhere in the Midwest,” he said.

“And after HarborMarket visitors have reconnected with their favorite produce and food product vendors, we encourage them to visit the retailers and restaurants of downtown Kenosha.”

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