It was a rainy start for the new COVID 19 version of the iconic Clark Fork Market near Caras Park in downtown Missoula on Saturday morning.

Small groups and individuals walked through the well-marked designated entrance on North Pattee Street and were greeted by two individuals who had face masks for those who had forgotten theirs, or who had not heard through the media that all market-goers must wear a face covering.

Kim was one of those at the entrance to the market.

“We are doing crowd control,” said Kim. “We’re making sure that we don’t have too many patrons in the market and we’re providing them with masks in case they don’t have them. 190 is the total number of those allowed into the market area at one time, not including our vendors, and the health department gave us that number,”

This reporter asked Kim about how the morning had gone so far, as of about 10:00 a.m.

“It’s been going pretty smoothly, it’s been nice,” she said. “We opened at 8:00 a.m. and we’ll close at 1:00 p.m.” Asked how people are responding to the order that all patrons must be masked she said most are taking it in stride. “They’re getting used to it. We’re relearning as a group. There was one person who didn’t want to wear it, and they went through anyway.”

The Missoula City County Health Department has worked with the farmer’s markets to make the fresh local produce available to the public despite the COVID 19 restrictions.

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