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Akron Celebrates the Reopening of Main Street with Harvest Mart

Akron Main Street Lock 3.JPG
Kabir Bhatia
At Lock 3, the 'back-in-only' spots on Main Street have been replaced with parallel parking. Over the next two Saturdays, the city will put on farmer's markets featuring food, music, and arts & crafts.

Officials in Akron want people to rediscover Main Street after several years of construction. And one way to do that is with a pair of farmer’s markets this month.

The Harvest Mart will be an afternoon market running each of the next two Saturdays, with not only late summer produce – like squashes and root vegetables -- but also music, arts and crafts.

The market is being organized by J Hudson, who’s been managing several similar markets in Northeast Ohio for the past decade. He says if this past summer has been any indication, there will be big crowds in Akron despite coronavirus.

“This has been our busiest season at any of the markets I’ve put on. We’ve smashed our sales from any previous season. What I’ve found is: as long as you enforce a mask regulation, people will come out.”

Hudson adds that social distancing and other precautions will be in-place at the Lock 3 markets.

“We’re going to have mask requirements. We’re going to have one-way traffic. We’re going to have our vendors set up so they’ll be six feet from the shoppers. We ask that shoppers not touch the produce but let the farmers pick out themselves. The Downtown Akron Partnership and The City are just trying to provide reasons for people to come downtown and celebrate the reopening.”

Harvest Mart is part of an informal campaign urging people to “Picture Yourself on Main” after the construction. A tour of what Main Street looks like now is available below:

Harvest Mart at Lock 3 will be in the heart of Akron’s recently established DORA, or “Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area,” where alcoholic beverages can be purchased and consumed outdoors.

Hudson has been sharing profiles of many of the participating farmers on Facebook.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.