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Riverside Arts Market reopens with COVID-19 precautions in place

RAM has about 4,000 people on average shopping every Saturday. They are reopening after 10 Saturdays without a market and things will be different.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Ten Saturdays have passed without a Riverside Arts Market. Thousands of people on average shop local food and art under the Fuller Warren Bridge. 

On May 23, Senior Market Manager John Silveira says they are reopening as the Riverside Essentials Market with only food vendors. They will have about 35 vendors, compared to more than 100 that they usually have. 

Vendors are required to wear masks and customers are strongly recommended. 

“I know a lot of people are ready to come out and break the routine that we’ve all been in for a while, but we need to do that safely and responsibly and I think that can be done," Silveira says, 

He says this is their version of phase 1 reopening and they hope to get back to normal in phases. 

Social distancing guidelines are to be followed. Silveira says booths will be separated by 30 to 40 feet.

“There’s two sides to this. There are people that are ready and willing to get out responsibly," Silveira says. "There’s folks that just aren’t ready to do that yet and we support them too." 

They are hosting an online market where artists, who won't be selling at the essentials market, can sell their art on Facebook. The Facebook group is called the Riverside Arts Online Market. Silveira says the group will go live at 8 a.m. 

“The community influences our artists’ work," Silveira says. "The community gets to play a role in not only influencing the art but supporting the art by purchasing the art from the artist."

The market is open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at 715 Riverside Avenue.

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